Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Why is the sky so bright here at night?

  1. Mar 22, 2010 #1
    Hello PF

    I'm hoping someone can answer this for me.

    I am in Ottawa, Canada and right now it is almost 2 am. I am about to go to sleep but can't help to notice why the sky is so unusually bright. It is a light peachy color. I can see the grass outside my house without any lights, it is that bright. I don't know why this is but I am curious. lol
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 22, 2010 #2

    Office_Shredder

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Someone posted a thread sayings the northern lights would be visible much further south than normal (about a week ago maybe?) I wonder if that's what you're seeing. I don't think they're that bright though.
     
  4. Mar 22, 2010 #3

    ideasrule

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    I think the cloud ceiling is either very low, or the clouds are unusually white. That way, more light from Ottawa's light bulbs would get reflected down to the ground.
     
  5. Mar 22, 2010 #4
    Light pollution sucks, yo.
     
  6. Mar 23, 2010 #5
    And it's back to normal tonight...
     
  7. Mar 23, 2010 #6

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Did you move to Ottawa recently?

    It's likely just a combination of heavy cloud cover and snow on the ground that helps reflect city lights (back and forth) and make for a bright night.
     
  8. Mar 23, 2010 #7
    or maybe a light fog
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook