Why snow is white

Why snow is white

It has everything to do with optics.

  • When light strikes a smooth flat surface like ice, its visible rays generally pass straight through without their paths being disturbed. This is why glass and ice often appear clear.
  • When light strikes irregular surfaces, it reflects and scatters in all directions. This applies to snowflakes, which are made up of hundreds of teeny-tiny ice crystals varying in shape and structure.
  • Because the light that strikes the glass shards or snowflakes is reflected back equally, these rays include all of the composite wavelength colors of visible light (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet), which together, look white.
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  • Snowpack, icebergs and glaciers can sometimes appear blue when light enters their bellies through cracks and crevices (rather than reflecting off of their surfaces) and gets trapped.
  • Pink or red-tinted snow( "watermelon snow") has also been documented. Its color comes because of a type of cold-loving freshwater algae living within the snowpack, which is red.

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The cryosphere - ice on earth

Ice provides most of the world's fresh water supply, keeps sea levels from rising dangerously, and gives us important information about past and future climate.

Ice on Earth is named cryosphere - the frozen water part of the Earth system. It includes all types of frozen water, including permafrost, which is soil that has been frozen for extended periods.

5 natural phenomena you probably didn‘t know occurred on earth, part 1.

There is so much happening in this world that we don't know about. The wonders of God's green earth is something we have always underestimated. Not only when it comes to destruction, but also when it comes to creating mesmerizing moments of natural beauty.

Having said that, here are 22 of the rarest and most beautiful natural phenomena that occur on planet earth:

Ancient ideas about light

Pythagoras, Euclid and Ptolemy thought that light moved in straight lines. They also believed the eye emitted visual rays, like feelers, that touched the object and created the sensation of sight.

  • If you drop a needle, it takes a while before you spot it. In the 3rd Century BC, Euclid thought that this delay in vision is caused by the visual ray that is yet to touch the object.
  • The idea was rejected by Ptolemy the Second in the 10th Century. He thought something emitted by an object (like the sun) must have entered the eye.

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