Beautiful Ends To Beautiful Days

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285 Words 2-Minute Listen

If you have noticed that the sunsets in your area have been just a tad more beautiful than normal - kind of like pink, purple, and orange watercolor paintings - then you are not mistaken. The stunning endings to our summer days are thanks to the Russian volcano, Sarychev Peak.

When it erupted on June 12, 2009, it spewed all kinds of volcanic gases, including sulfur dioxide, into the atmosphere, which have caused what is known as light scattering.

Light scattering is a well-known natural phenomenon and the reason for the color of our skies. During the day, when the sun is overhead, particles in the atmosphere scatter short wavelength blue light more effectively, which is why our skies appear blue. When the sun sets, its rays have more atmosphere to travel, so more of the long wavelength red light is apparent to us.

In this case, the sulfur dioxide is mixing with water vapor in clouds and then being refracted (changing direction) resulting in colors that range from scarlet to indigo, to appear in the skies.

The colors vary depending on the time of the day. Right at sunset, you will be able to spot white ripples to the West. As the evening progresses, lovely shades of 'volcano lavender', will show up in the horizon - And, If you're an early bird, you may even catch more shades before sunrise.

Since this was a fairly large eruption, with ashes and gases rising 65,000 feet and spreading out over thousands of miles, the effects will be seen for a few months - so in case you haven't had a chance to do so, be sure to look out West this evening, and admire our beautiful skies.

sources:examiner.com, foxnews.com

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Geography
22 Comments
  • happiervibess
    Im obsessed 😍 with sunsets....so beautiful
    • hemmguin
      hemmguinover 6 years
      It really is beautiful... it makes me feel warm and happy :)
      • bibliophile
        bibliophilealmost 7 years
        WOW... it's really gorgeous...
        • nikukyu
          nikukyualmost 7 years
          My mom and I always snap photos of the sunset... It's so beautiful! Mother and daughter bonding time! : )
          • disneyalways
            disneyalwaysover 5 years
            Oh my gosh yes. I'll never wake up early enough to do that. :P
          • shivi483
            shivi483almost 7 years
            That can be true because they always say that in movie Beautiful
            • izzy10can
              izzy10canalmost 7 years
              BEAUTIFUL.... :3
              • susie
                susiealmost 8 years
                beautiful!
                • headream100
                  headream100almost 8 years
                  Pink, but beautiful.
                  • Keiara over 8 years
                    Love the sky
                    • alyssaabout 9 years
                      this is so fun