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Why Is the Sky Blue Isn't the Right Question

Illustration for article titled iWhy Is the Sky Blue/i Isnt the Right Question

Sure, you know why the sky is blue. You're a learned man and/or woman of learning; you know your way around Wikipedia. But hey, sorry buddy. That's still amateur hour. The question you should have been asking all along: Why isn't the sky violet?

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Actually, on second thought, pretty sure Wikipedia's going to have an answer for that too. [xkcd]

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DISCUSSION

fromeout11
fromeout11

In a mirror, left and right are relative; up and down are absolute (i.e. up is away from the ground, down is towards it, always). The two dimensions are treated differently because one is parallel to the Earth's surface and the other is perpendicular to it.

I.E. left and right are reversed for two people facing each other (180 deg rotation around a vertical axis), while up and down will remain the same.