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Offlinedrtyfrnk
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So why do sunsets turn different colors?
    #4514763 - 08/09/05 04:50 PM (11 years, 3 months ago)

So, here's my question, since I don't know where else to put this.

Why do sunsets have different colors, like pink, purple, orange (obviously we know this one), red, among others?

Anyone know or care to take a guess?


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InvisibleI_was_the_walrus
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Re: So why do sunsets turn different colors? [Re: drtyfrnk]
    #4514767 - 08/09/05 04:51 PM (11 years, 3 months ago)

pollution...


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InvisibleLe_Canard
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Re: So why do sunsets turn different colors? [Re: drtyfrnk]
    #4514768 - 08/09/05 04:52 PM (11 years, 3 months ago)

Usually sunlight refracting through dust, ice crystals and the like....


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InvisibleColonel Kurtz Ph.D
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Re: So why do sunsets turn different colors? [Re: I_was_the_walrus]
    #4514770 - 08/09/05 04:52 PM (11 years, 3 months ago)

Because the light hits the molecules in the ozone layer of the atmosphere in different angles.


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OfflineSerioOria
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Re: So why do sunsets turn different colors? [Re: drtyfrnk]
    #4514774 - 08/09/05 04:53 PM (11 years, 3 months ago)

has to do with the thickness of the atmosphere that section of light is shining through, only certain colors of light shine through at different thicknesses of the atmosphere... in comparison to when the sun is directly overhead and all light comes through as white (or off white)


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InvisibleIrradiated_Feces
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Re: So why do sunsets turn different colors? [Re: I_was_the_walrus]
    #4514776 - 08/09/05 04:54 PM (11 years, 3 months ago)

Although sunsets often display brilliant red and orange colors, not all sunsets are red.? To understand why sunsets are different colors, we first have to know what makes different colors of light. ? This gets a little complicated, but stay with me.?

Like sound, light is made up of waves.? When you hear a high note, you?re hearing a sound wave with a short wavelength.? Low notes come from sound waves with longwavelengths.? Light has short and long wavelengths too; but instead of determining notes, the wavelengths of light waves determine colors.? Think about the spectrum of colors that we can see.? At one end of the spectrum are the violets and blues, and at the other end are the oranges and reds.? All the other colors are somewhere in between.? A light wave with a shorter wavelength will be violet or blue; one with a longer wavelength will be orange or red.? The color of the sunset (and everything else) is determined by the wavelength of light that we see.? ?

When the sun is high in the sky, it looks white.? That?s because all visible wavelengths (or all colors) of light reach our eyes, and all colors add up to white.? As the sun sets, its light travels through the atmosphere at a much lower angle, so the sun shines through the lower atmosphere which contains dust, salt, smoke and pollution. ? These particles scatter away some of the shorter wavelengths of light (the violets and blues), leaving only the longer wavelengths (the oranges and reds.)? That?s why many sunsets are orange.? Where the air is cleaner, like in mountain regions, the sunsets will be white or yellow. When the concentration of particles is especially heavy, all the shorter wavelengths of light will be completely scattered away, and the sunsets will be very red.? You often see a red sunset at the seashore because there are so many salt particles in the air over the ocean.? Volcanic ash can scatter most of the blue light away too.? After the eruptions of Mount St. Helens in Washington State in 1980 and Mount Pinatubo in the Phillipines in 1994, the ash drifting through the air turned sunsets around the world more red than usual.?

So as you watch your next sunset, you might think about all that goes into making nature?s colorful light show every single time the sun goes down.


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InvisibleAliceDee
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Re: So why do sunsets turn different colors? [Re: Irradiated_Feces]
    #4514808 - 08/09/05 05:04 PM (11 years, 3 months ago)

same reason the sky is blue... its not relly blue its just particles of something reflecting the light...


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Offlinedrtyfrnk
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Re: So why do sunsets turn different colors? [Re: Irradiated_Feces]
    #4514820 - 08/09/05 05:06 PM (11 years, 3 months ago)

Interesting...

Thanks for the info guys!  Appreciate it a lot  :smile:


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InvisibleCowgold
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Re: So why do sunsets turn different colors? [Re: drtyfrnk]
    #4514831 - 08/09/05 05:09 PM (11 years, 3 months ago)

Do certain gases change the color of light?

could this also be "a" way of measuring the gaseous makeup of our atmosphere (I put "a" cause I don't know if it's "the" way or not)


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