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Thread: Why is the sky dark at night?

  1. #1
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    Why is the sky dark at night?

    Why is the sky dark at night?

    One thing educators like to say is that there are no stupid questions. I disagree, mildly: unasked questions might fit that category. Still and all, even basic questions are worth asking, and sometimes can lead to profound insight.

    For example, one of my favorite questions is also one of the simplest: "Why is the sky dark at night?" The wonderful folks at Minute Physics took this query on, and show you why this question is so very important.



    See? Just by asking why the sky is dark, you can figure out that the Universe is neither infinite in space nor in time. It had a beginning! It doesnít get much more profound than that.

    And another thing I like about this video is that it answers this question in a very similar way to how I do. Itís something Iíve been meaning to write about here on the blog, but I suppose I waited too long. Now I donít have to.

    Funny, too. I have a BAFact I was going to post on this very topic on October 7, just a week from now! Why? Well, thatís not a stupid question at all, and Iíll answer itÖ in a few days.

    Why is the sky dark at night? | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timo View Post
    Why is the sky dark at night?

    One thing educators like to say is that there are no stupid questions. I disagree, mildly: unasked questions might fit that category. Still and all, even basic questions are worth asking, and sometimes can lead to profound insight.

    For example, one of my favorite questions is also one of the simplest: "Why is the sky dark at night?" The wonderful folks at Minute Physics took this query on, and show you why this question is so very important.



    See? Just by asking why the sky is dark, you can figure out that the Universe is neither infinite in space nor in time. It had a beginning! It doesn’t get much more profound than that.

    And another thing I like about this video is that it answers this question in a very similar way to how I do. It’s something I’ve been meaning to write about here on the blog, but I suppose I waited too long. Now I don’t have to.

    Funny, too. I have a BAFact I was going to post on this very topic on October 7, just a week from now! Why? Well, that’s not a stupid question at all, and I’ll answer it… in a few days.

    Why is the sky dark at night? | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine
    Simple question, if a feather and a bowling ball fall at the same rate, why is a bowling ball more heavy. I've heard bill nye explain it when i was a kid, but I can't recall even closely to what he said and I think it's a interesting subject.

  3. #3
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    Re: Why is the sky dark at night?

    The sky is dark at night because there's no light for our atmosphere to scatter. It's blue in mid day because blue in the color spectrum is the most efficient and there's less atmosphere for the light to go through when the light is coming in almost perpendicular to the atmosphere. It gets red around sunset because at that low angle the light has to go through more atmosphere to reach our vision and red is less efficient

    Sent from Tyria. Buy guild wars 2







    *that is, efficient at scattering the light





    **looks like the video actually answered it lol. I couldn't watch it from my phone and assumed it was short thing saying it was just because there's no light haha
    Last edited by Rafiee; 10-02-2012 at 07:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Booyah View Post
    Simple question, if a feather and a bowling ball fall at the same rate, why is a bowling ball more heavy. I've heard bill nye explain it when i was a kid, but I can't recall even closely to what he said and I think it's a interesting subject.
    I googled it.

    There are actually two or three answers to the "falling masses" problem ... the basic answer is "it depends".

    The case we usually encounter is the feather and cannon ball case. Here, they fall pretty much at the same speed (in vacuum) because the masses are so many orders of magnitude different from the earth. However, in the more general case, things really balance out because when you lift a mass off the planet in order to drop it the planet becomes less massive and thus has less gravitational attraction. However, the mutual attraction remains the same because the total mass of the system is the same...and they fall back at the same rate. If you lift two objects off that are sizable compared to the planet then you need to make more detailed calculations about what will happen because they are both off at the same time and you could have a classic "three-body" problem.

    If the two objects were never part of the planet (approaching from deep space), then the more massive object will fall faster because the mutual attraction is greater.

    Understanding Of Weight

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    Quote Originally Posted by Booyah View Post
    Simple question, if a feather and a bowling ball fall at the same rate, why is a bowling ball more heavy. I've heard bill nye explain it when i was a kid, but I can't recall even closely to what he said and I think it's a interesting subject.
    Another explanation if what Timo said didn't quite answer your question. Basically, the acceleration of objects due to gravity is 9.8m/s. This is for ALL objects so no matter how heavy or massive one object is compared to the other they will fall at the same right because acceleration is independent of the mass. However, things like air resistance will come in effect and a feather will obviously fall slower because the air affects it more. Put them in a vacuum and they fall at the same rate





    Further explanation: Think of it in terms of conservation of energy. You've got two different masses at the same height. Potential energy is equal to mgh(mass x acceleration due to gravity x height). All of this potential energy will convert to kinetic at the bottom of the fall. Kinetic energy is (1/2)mv^2(one-half of the mass x velocity squared). When you set these equal to each other(because all energy will convert theoretically) the masses cancel since there is an m on each side which means that speed is not affected by the mass and only the height of the objects

  6. #6
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    Why is the sky dark at night?

    Because Chuck Norris is sleeping, and he sun doesn't want to piss him off.

    ENFP








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    Quote Originally Posted by Aug View Post
    Why is the sky dark at night?

    Because Chuck Norris is sleeping, and he sun doesn't want to piss him off.
    Mythology. Much easier explanation than science and math. LOLOLOLOL.

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