Nature Science Universe

Why is the sky blue?

Now that the polar day starts to make itself felt more and more in high latitudes, we’ll experience daylight round the clock here in Vadsø in less than 2 weeks! More daylight means more blue skies! But do you know why the sky is blue? Keep on reading to find out!

Light is an electromagnetic wave, just like radio waves, microwaves, and even the radiation resulted from radioactivity! The only difference between all these different electromagnetic waves is their wavelength.

Even the light that we actually perceive with our own eyes is made up of multiple wavelengths. And to each and all of these wavelengths of light corresponds a different colour! So, the light that comes to us from the Sun and which we see, is made up of multiple colours! Of all colours, to be exact!

Just like an ocean’s waves, light travels the same way: in waves! Blue light travels in shorter waves (with a shorter wavelength) and red light travels in longer waves (longer wavelengths).

When the sunlight, with all its colours, reaches Earth, it meets the planet’s atmosphere! Thus, it starts interacting with various particles in the air, such as tiny ice crystals, dust, water droplets and even gas molecules that make up the air itself! And once the light waves interact with these particles, it gets scattered!

For a wave to interact with a particle, the two must be of the same order of size. Smaller particles scatter short wavelength light (blue) stronger. Small air molecules, which make up the entire atmosphere, scatter the blue component of sunlight the most, and in all directions, because of its short wavelength! And this is why, during a sunny day, everywhere you look, the sky is blue!

Do you know why sunsets are reddish? If not, read this article to find out!

Nature Northern Lights Universe Vadsø

Experiencing the Northern Lights in Summer

The 2019-2020 Winter season is coming to an end, as the Midnight Sun progressively makes its presence felt at high Arctic latitudes. That means that sunlight starts to illuminate these regions round the clock and makes the sighting of the Northern Lights difficult or even impossible.

To see the Northern Lights, you need a completely dark sky. During the Polar Day – which is now starting – the Sun shines 24 hours a day, which makes viewing the Northern Lights impossible. However, the Northern Lights are still there – it’s just that you can’t see them!

…But you can hear them! If you do visit me in Vadsø during the summertime, when the Sun is up in the sky even at midnight, you can try hearing the Aurora with me! Check out my original summer activity: Hear the Aurora!

Just come and try, and see for yourself how cool it is to listen to the Northern Lights! And the bonus – there are many other sounds of our Universe which you will hear as well, and we’ll try explaining them together!

Nature Weather


Frost is a typical phenomenon occurring here in the Arctic. It is a thin layer of icy crystals on solid surfaces. It forms when outside temperatures are cold, which determines the water vapor in the air to freeze.

Frost is a rather common sight in Arctic regions, and it creates a kind of fantasy world, in which everything sparkles due to these ice crystals, creating at the same time amazing opportunities for photographers!

Have you taken cool photos of frost? Check out a few photos of frost taken by myself, here in Vadsø:

The frozen island of Vadsøya, overlooking the coastal town of Vadsø
Frosty bush on Vadsøya island
Frost on branches (detail)
A frosty wonderland
Frosty branches pointing at the cloudy sky, during the civil twilight