by Robert Henson
Weather: The Ultimate Book of Meteorological Events
Author: Contributors of the Weather Guide Calendar
Publisher: Accord Publishing
Details: 256 pp., $40.00 hardcover, 2007,
The color of the sky has intrigued humans for centuries—including the Greek philosophers Aristotle and Theophrastus, ancient Arab scholars, artists of the Italian Renaissance, and all three year-olds. Present-day skywatchers know that they have found a kindred spirit in author Götz Hoeppe when, in the prologue to Why the Sky is Blue: Discovering the Color of Life, he expresses his fascination with the unique blue color of the sky. He sees it as the constant backdrop against which “clouds change shape as they float by, rain falls, fog rises, and the moving sun casts many different kinds of light into the atmosphere.” However, despite this fascination shared by so many, few people can provide a thorough and accurate answer to the question, “Why is the sky blue?” It is the intent of Hoeppe not only to explain the science of the sky’s color, but also to provide the reader with a complete history of how the explanation has evolved through the centuries.