My Favorite Time Of Year
Fall is my favorite time of year for many reasons, one of which is the stunning sunrises and sunsets that dance across the horizon. I am blessed to have a sacred perch to witness the days coming and going as my home sits high on the crest of a canyon; I have vast views to the east and the west from most parts of my house. I never tire of the blues, and purples, and oranges, and reds, and pinks that paint the skyline each day. Like snowflakes, no two sunrises or sunsets are alike. They each manifest in their unique way giving unwavering authenticity to their short existence. As I noticed the breathtaking beauty of this morning’s sky, I hustled to grab my camera to capture yet one more temporary painting worthy of the walls of any gallery or museum. And then, I thought to myself, what makes these colors so vibrant? What creates this collection of unreplicable hues that bring such delight to my days? So I did a little research and here is what I found out from Science Daily.
You science geeks are going to love this. The colors of the sunrise and sunset result from a phenomenon called scattering. Molecules and small particles in the atmosphere change the direction of light rays, causing them to scatter. Scattering affects the color of light coming from the sky, but the details are determined by the wavelength of the light and the size of the particles. Steve Ackerman, professor of meteorology at UW-Madison explains it this way: “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 the violet and blue light away from our eyes. If the path is long enough, all of the blue and violet light scatters out of your line of sight. The other colors continue on their way to your eyes. This is why sunsets are often yellow, orange, and red.”
The Universe In Perfect Harmony
Now for some of you, this might seem like a lot of silly talk about molecules and particles, and to a degree, I concur. But think of it this way, there are all kinds of things happening in our universe that provide us with extraordinary opportunities to witness Earth’s immense beauty. Rainbows, the northern lights, shooting starts, light pillars and supermoons to name a few. And the great news is, it doesn’t cost a dime to take in the show. I hope you will take advantage of these magnificent displays of art brought to you by the perfect harmony of the universe. Go ahead, pull up a chair and enjoy the performance of some molecules and particles doing their thing.