Why is the Earth Green and Blue?

Here we go! It’s time for Serious Question #11!  This one comes from Lucy.  Some people call her Lucy 7 or Juicy Lucy.   Right now, it doesn’t matter, because all I know is that she gave me a great question!

I’m going to answer this question about looking at the Earth from space.  So… let’s start with this great picture of the Earth from space.  How many colors can you see?

how many colors on earth

1 Blue – That’s the water.  Water covers most of the Earth.  Really, 70.8% of the whole Earth is covered in water.  After that, almost all of that water is salt water, so we can’t drink it.  97.5% of all that water is undrinkable.

2 Green – That’s the plants.  Trees, grass, flowers, vegetable plants, and fruit trees are all green.  That’s because plants have something special called chlorophyll (klor – a – fill). Chlorophyll is why plants are green and it helps plants take sunlight and turn it into energy(en – er – jee)

. 3 Light Blue – Maybe it’s hard to see, but that’s also water.  Is that cheating?  But this is different, because it’s light blue!  It looks light blue because that water is shallow.  Shallow is the opposite of deep.  The sand under that water is very close to the top, so it looks light blue.

4 & 7 White – I count white twice, because it comes from different things.  One is clouds.  You can see clouds cover A LOT of the Earth, all the time.  The other is snow and ice.  You can find snow and ice at the tops of some mountains (like #7) and also at the North Pole and South Pole.

5 Brown – There is a lot of brown on mountains that don’t have snow.  Some areas are very dry but they are not deserts.  They can look brown too, because of the dirt and maybe dead plants.

6 Yellow (or light brown) – This is the desert.  Some of the deserts look yellow, and some look tan (tan = light brown).  Deserts that look yellow are covered in sand.  They are very dry and usually don’t have many plants or animals.

8 Gray – Think about clouds again.  Are they all white?  Are they white all the time?  Nope.  Sometimes clouds can be very dark and gray when it is raining or there is a storm.

earth at night colors

9 Dark Blue or Black – The water at night! Is this cheating again?  Sorry…

10 Yellow – From space, we can see a lot of big cities.  It is very easy to see these places at night because of the lights that are turned on all the time.

So I can count 10 colors on the Earth from space.  How many can you find?  Why is it that color?


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