2) What is a mirage and why does it always disappear as the observer gets closer? A mirage is a naturally occurring optical phenomenon in which light rays are bent to produce a displaced image of distant objects or the sky. Mirages appear at very low viewing angles, when you are far away. As you approach, the viewing angle increases and the mirage disappears, or moves farther away. The reflection of heat dissipates in the human eye causing the mirage or blur to vanish.
3) If you were looking for a rainbow in the morning, which direction (N, S, E, W) would you face and why? It is best to look towards the west. Rainbows always appear in the opposite side of the sky away from the sun.
4) What is a halo?
A Halo is a burst of light produced by ice crystals creating colored or white arcs and spots in the sky. Many are near the sun or moon but others are elsewhere and even in the opposite part of the sky. They can also form around artificial lights in very cold weather when ice crystals called diamond dust are floating in the nearby air.
5) Why is the sky blue?
The sky is blue because molecules in the air scatter blue light from the sun more than they scatter red light on a cloudless day. When we look towards the sun at sunset, we see red and orange colors because the blue light has been scattered out and away from the line of sight.
6) Why are sunrises and sunsets red/orange?
Because the light from the sun has passed a long distance through air and some of the blue light has been scattered away. If the air is polluted with small particles, natural or otherwise, the sunset will be redder. Sunsets over the sea may also be orange, due to salt particles in the air. The sky around the sun is seen reddened, as well as the light coming directly from the sun.
7) Why are clouds white?
Clouds are white because their water droplets or ice crystals are large enough to scatter the light of the seven wavelengths, which combine to produce white light. Clouds will appear dark or gray when either they are in another clouds shadow or the top of a cloud casts a shadow upon its own base.
8) What is the basis for the classification of clouds and why? Clouds are broadly grouped into four classes: low-level, middle-level, high-level, and vertically developed. The specific names for different cloud types are based on the cloud's shape and structure as well as its altitude, and there are many different combinations.
9) Why are high clouds always thin in comparison to low clouds? As temperature is very less at the heights where these high clouds form convection currents are absent or very less so that vertical growth of the clouds is restricted. A cloud is classified as low, medium and high according to the height of its base and not based on top of the cloud.
10) What is a condensation nucleus and why is it important? Cloud condensation nucleus is aerosols that act as the initial sites for condensation of water vapor into cloud droplets or cloud ice particles. Virtually all cloud droplets or ice particles originate around some sort condensation nuclei which tend to "attract" water. It is important for the formation of rain and clouds.
11) How does hail form?
Inside of a thunderstorm are strong updrafts of warm air and downdrafts of cold air. If a water droplet is picked up by the updrafts it can be carried well above the freezing level. As the frozen droplet begins to fall, carried by cold downdrafts, it may thaw as it moves into warmer air toward the bottom of the thunderstorm or it may also get picked up again by another updraft carrying it back into very cold air and re-freezing it. With each trip above and below the freezing level our frozen droplet adds another layer of ice until it finally hits the ground.
12) What is the difference between clouds and...