Steven Ackerman, professor of meteorology at UW-Madison shares this interesting information about the painted sky.
He says that the colors of the sunset result from a phenomenon called scattering. Molecules (primarily nitrogen and oxygen) are the small particles in the atmosphere which change the direction of light rays, causing them to scatter, therefore affecting the color of light coming from the sky.
Because the sun is low on the horizon, sunlight passes through more air at sunset and sunrise than during the day, when the sun is higher in the sky. More atmosphere means more molecules to scatter and with that – and more of the scientific jargon of why it happens - is why sunsets are often yellow, orange and red.
There is more scientific information on the internet if you’re interested – articles by other meteorologists and scientists – but Hey, let’s just plain enjoy the dramatic color that is painted in the sky. We definitely had our share of some pretty spectacular sunrises and sunsets this winter so far and look forward to more as we continue our travels. We definitely look at our sky in a very different way and hope that you do too.
Sunrise at our home in Wisconsin the day we started down the open road.
Sunrise and sunset at Haggards Campground, West Pueblo, Colorado
Sunset over the lake and at The Steps in Lake Havasu, Arizona
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Sunrise and sunset over Alamo Lake, Wenden, Arizona
Sunset at Road Runner, Quartzsite, Arizona
And now for the spectacular ones that we so enjoyed in the desert here in Winterhaven, California - early morning color to greet the new day - we are so grateful for each experience.
All who wander are not lost.
We pack up this week leaving California – and the Yuma area – for new travels that we most definitely will share. We’d love to hear from you, so please drop us a line if you’d like.