November 15, 2002
The photo above, taken last May from Denia, Spain, shows a magenta-colored Sun pillar accenting a glorious sunset. The reddened colors of the twilight sky provide an interesting contrast to the silhouettes of the trees and other objects in the foreground. If a cloud deck is present, the best colors are often observed once the Sun disappears below the horizon. From our perspective, it seems that the clouds are being highlighted from below. Dust or volcanic ash, if present in the upper atmosphere, increases scattering, and therefore usually augments the coloring of the sky at sunset and sunrise.