(Prompted by noting the very familiar color change in the moon images.)
I was looking for a diagram that showed the amount of reduction across the visible-light spectrum as one looks at it through increasing amounts of the Earth's atmosphere. I found this page from California Polytechnic:
Which has a nice diagram at:
http://www.calpoly.edu/~rfield/Thermals ... age002.gif
(the left image below),
The upper curve shows the spectrum at the point of reaching our atmosphere, and the lower curve the spectrum at the ground, when the Sun is directly overhead. The lower curve peaks near yellow, as we know, but the percentage difference from the upper curve to the lower curve is greater for the blue-violet end of the spectrum than it is for the red end. At the blue-violet edge, for example, it looks like about a 33% drop to the lower curve, whereas at the red end, about an 8% drop to the lower curve. I looked for a plot of the spectrum at sunrise or sunset, but could not find one. If one could predict it by simply doubling or tripling the percentage dropouts "across the board" to represent the greater amount of atmosphere in the way, then I have very roughly sketched in a couple of lower curves in the second diagram to represent this. (The two faint curves drawn in white on the image at the right.) So, this would produce a reddened image; I wonder how close my curves come to actual observations.
An interesting feature of some of the graphs I found was that some also showed the effect of going down under about 10 meters of water. The University of Colorado, http://lasp.colorado.edu/home/sorce/ins ... m/science/
had a figure at: http://lasp.colorado.edu/home/sorce/fil ... /fig01.gif
This shows much more than the visible spectrum, so it is harder to tell what is going on, but it appears that water very quickly filters out reds far more than blues, so the light turns bluer as one goes down, but then, not very far below the surface, it is just going to get really dark throughout. This is obviously what people observe.
Anyway, I struggled with this some, and finally got back to what every school child knows.
As I said, though, It would be nice to have some better charts for this. Initially, I was wondering how you can tell atmospheric reddening from other kinds of reddening by looking more closely at the whole spectrum, but I had trouble finding even this much data on atmospheric absorption from a quick internet search.
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