(Lansing State Journal, Nov. 20, 1996)
Question submitted by Alexis Wilson.
The truth is, stars are out all the time. The reason why we cannot see the stars in the daytime, is due to scattered sunlight in the Earth's atmosphere. According to astronomers and physicists, sunlight is made up of a spectrum of colors. The color spectrum has the same colors as a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. When all these colors are blended together they make white light. The sun gives off white light. When the sunlight hits the earth's atmosphere, the very tiny air molecules cause the light to go in different directions. This causes all of the sky to look very bright. However, the air molecules prefer to bounce and reflect the violet and blue colors of the sunlight. This is why the sky looks blue. Since the sun is relatively nearby and the reflected air molecules causes the sky to be so bright, the star's light cannot be seen. The same thing happens at night in the city. City lights are also scattered by the air molecules. Only the brightest stars can be seen from the city at night. The best place to see the stars would be in the country, or a place where there are no interfering outside lights.