How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 537

Why do the earth's oceans appear blue to an observer on the moon?
The earth's oceans and sky both appear blue to everyone who observes them. They do this because water absorbs blue light less strongly than it absorbs other colors. When ocean water is exposed to sunlight (white light), it absorbs most of the red light quickly and a good fraction of the green light. But the blue light penetrates to considerable depth in the water and there is a reasonable chance that this light will be scattered back upward to an observer on the shore, in the air, or even on the moon.

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