Red Sunset

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Red Sunset

The sunset just a couple of hours ago. Long before the sun went under it turned into a fiery red ball.

Why is the sun so red

As a ray of white sunlight travels through the atmosphere to an observer, some of the colors are scattered out of the beam by air molecules and airborne particles, changing the final color of the beam the viewer sees. Because the shorter wavelength components, such as blue and green, scatter more strongly, these colors are preferentially removed from the beam. At sunrise and sunset, when the path through the atmosphere is longer, the blue and green components are removed almost completely leaving the longer wavelength orange and red hues we see at those times. The remaining reddened sunlight can then be scattered by cloud droplets and other relatively large particles to light up the horizon red and orange. The removal of the shorter wavelengths of light is due to Rayleigh scattering by air molecules and particles much smaller than the wavelength of visible light (less than 50 nm in diameter). The scattering by cloud droplets and other particles with diameters comparable to or larger than the sunlight's wavelengths (> 600 nm) is due to Mie scattering and is not strongly wavelength-dependent. Mie scattering is responsible for the light scattered by clouds, and also for the daytime halo of white light around the sun (forward scattering of white light). Without Mie scattering at sunset and sunrise, the sky along the horizon has only a dull-reddish appearance, while the rest of the sky remains mostly blue and sometimes green

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Comments (21)

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Hielke Roelevink on March 20, 2013

Prachtig Erik Ook al ben ik hier maar weinig de laatste tijd,neus af en toe wel even rond! Heb mijn heil wat meer bij Facebook en plaats daar de recente beelden Zo ook deze Hoop je dit jaar eens te ontmoeten op Panoramio dag! Goeie Hielke

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on February 12, 2013
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Erik van den Ham

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