• >The colors of the sunset are not dependent on temperature, >except in the case of a low enough temperature to produce >fog or an enhanced haze (higher humidity combined with air >pollution). The colors are a consequence of preferential >scattering of different wavelengths of sunlight by the >particles and water vapor in the air. A large amount of >particles tend to scatter out blue light, giving us a pink >to red sunset. The red sunset can be washed out to whitish >by heavy haze or high relative humidity, which will scatter >all wavelengths more equally; however, the sun itself will >still appear to be reddish-orange. When there is very dry, >clean air, such as with an Arctic high pressure system, the >sky near the horizon will stay nearly blue, with the sun >being brilliant orange. > >David Cook >meteorologist at Argonne Nat. Lab.
  • It has to do with the wavelengths of different colors of light. When the sun is high the short wavelength blue light waves scatter the most effectively, which gives the blue sky. When the sun is rising or setting, colors of light with longer wavelengths are able to project straight out, and the degree that each wavelength does this results in the gradient of colors seen in a sunset/rise.
  • Refraction of light.

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