Orange Sky

July 17, 2005


Provided and copyright by: Michiel de Boer
Summary authors & editors: Michiel de Boer

The above photo showing a particularly orange/red sky was taken one evening last summer from the Netherlands. When sunlight has a long path-length through the atmosphere (when the Sun is low in the sky), the shorter wavelength colors (blue and green light) are scattered from our view while the longer wavelengths (orange red light) continue on their way. In essence, the longer path way insures that more scatterers (aerosols) are encountered. The net result is that the sky at daybreak or dusk will often appear reddish. In this case, the Sun has just set but is still shining on a thunderstorm, nearly directly over the photographer. Note the red rainbow -- the violet, blue and green colors have been effectively attenuated by the atmosphere.

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