Why Can You Hear Better On Foggy Days?

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By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - Go outside next time it's really foggy in the morning and have a friend stand some distance away. Every notice that you can hear him better? Or that you can hear distant sounds better (such as a train horn or a jet engine?)

That's because water is much better at transmitting sound than air is. And on our foggy days, the air is completely saturated with water droplets, making it easier for sound waves to be transmitted through the air. (Think about that next time you're whispering behind someone's back on a foggy day!)

It's also why foghorns were an effective way of communicating with ships offshore -- the foghorn sounds get transmitted further in thick fog.

Your Photos

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A Washington State Ferry waits its turn to dock at the Lopez Island Ferry Terminal as the sun rises over Mount Baker in the background.
YouNews Reflection Reflection
During my time in Seattle, WA, I've had the opportunity to take all sorts of interesting pictures. There is water everywhere here, and in this shot; it provides a perfect mirror to the road above.
YouNews Weekend Sky Objects Weekend Sky Objects
These images were taken Friday and Saturday under with a bright moon. M42 is a 45 minute stack of 122 frames and M15 is a 34 minute stack of 14 frames. A Meade 6-inch refractor
and a Nikon D3100 was used for all the images. Stacking was
done with Deep Sky Stacker (freeware).