Smoky Sunset Over Las Vegas

December 08, 2003


Referred by: Carl Crumley
Summary authors & editors: Carl Crumley; Jim Foster

During the wildfires that occurred in southern California in late October, winds shifted from a westerly to an easterly direction, pushing smoke into southern Nevada. Smoke particulates produced the unusual sunset, shown above, over Las Vegas on October 29. The aureole around the Sun originates from forward scattering of sunlight by the smoke particles. In addition to a decrease in visibility, the poor air quality resulting from the incursion of smoke adversely affected people having respiratory problems, causing a surge in the number of visits to local hospitals and clinics.

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