Thursday, May 10, 2018

Sky Blue

The sky is everywhere, it begins at your feet.
~Jandy Nelson

Swiss physicist Horace-Bénédict de Saussure was my inspiration for today's post. He made a cyanometer to determine exactly how blue the sky was. Mountain climbers had noticed that the sky became a deeper blue the higher up you went and Saussure wanted to measure it.

"In 1802, [geographer Alexander von] Humboldt took the tool on an ascent of the Andean mountain Chimborazo, where he set a new record, at the 46th degree of blue, for the darkest sky ever measured." (Sarah Laskow, Atlas Obscura)

Cyanometer, 1789
by Horace-Bénédict de Saussure

Groton Long Point, 1910
by Henry Ward Ranger

A Girl Copying a Drawing
by Martin Drolling

“In the year 1533 a horse in the air was seen in Bohemia, and a horseman, as if he wanted to mount it, just as is painted here"
by Augsburger Wunderzeichenbuch, c. 1550


Ruth said...

A cyanometer! That is just the best thing I've heard in a while.

Pop said...

Yep, a cyanometer is *very* cool. When I hear the term "sky blue," I wonder which blue? ;-)

Really nice examples with the paintings, Tabatha.

And hats off to Horace-Bénédict de Saussure!