California Dreamin

September 10, 2004


Provided by: Christine Churchill
Summary authors & editors: Christine Churchill; Jim Foster

The magnificent sunset photo above was taken from Kenwood, California on July 16, 2004 using a Sony CD Mavica 5 mega pixel camera. Cirrus and altostratus cloud decks suddently eruped with vibrant colors when the Sun dipped below the horizon. On the West Coast, sunsets are frequently enhanced by salt spray, and in addition, aerosols from wildfires may have helped accent the western sky. While atmospheric extinction at either end of the day takes out most of the blue light, it doesn't really remove (scatter) the green. However, if during the day, aerosols are introduced either by human activities or thermal currents, then green light may be attenuated, which leads to a display of long-wavelengths (reds and oranges) at dusk.

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