Have You Ever Wondered Why Sunsets are Red?

  • Thread starter Chiara
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In summary, sunsets appear red because of the distance sunlight must travel through the atmosphere, which scatters out violet, blue, and green light, leaving more red and yellow light visible to our eyes. This is also why the sky appears blue, as the shorter waves of violet and blue light are scattered more by the atmosphere.
  • #1
Chiara
why do sunsets look red?
 
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  • #2
no not really

No, but I did get the answer, if your curious.


Quoted by Arkady Leokum

"What produces the colors of a sunset is the distance that the sunlight must travel through our atmosphere. The lower it is, the more of our Earth's atmosphere does that light travel through. But first, let's remind ourselves that sunlight is a mixture of light of all colors. Normally, this mixture of light appears as white to our eyes. But the atmosphere has molecules of air, dust, water vapor and other impurities present in it. As the light passes through them, different colors are scattered by these particles. Now, it so happens our atmosphere scatters out violet, blue and green light more than it does the reds and yellows. So when the sun is low, this scattering leaves more reds and yellows for us to see and we have a reddish sunset. By the way, this scattering of light also explains why the sky looks blue. Violet and blue light have short waves and are scattered about 10 times more than red light waves by our atmosphere. This means that the red rays go straight through our atmosphere, while the blue waves don't come through directly but are scattered by the air, water and dust particles. It is this scattered light that we see as the blue sky when we look up."
 
  • #3


Yes, I have thought about it. Sunsets appear red due to a phenomenon called scattering. As the sun sets, its light has to travel through more of the Earth's atmosphere, which contains particles like dust and water vapor. These particles scatter the light, causing the shorter blue and green wavelengths to disperse and leaving behind the longer red wavelengths. This is also why the sky appears blue during the day, as the shorter wavelengths are scattered more. The angle at which the sunlight hits the atmosphere also plays a role, with more scattering occurring at sunset when the light has to travel through a thicker layer of atmosphere.
 

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