Sunsets: A Charming Phenomena

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  By Leah Moriarty 
    Ah sunsets…when the sky leaves a dispersal of golden, purple, and orange kisses on the horizon, and marks the end of the day, while with its glowing euphoric presence sparks the hope for a new day with new experiences.     But let’s be honest. Do any of us know why the sky looks so glowy in the early night and morning? It’s crazy how they actually look as beautiful as they do in their photos and all HP computers screensavers. If you do,already know, that’s cool, please excuse my superfluous post .The answer is the scientific phenomenon called light scattering! And yes, it’s as simple as it sounds; when scattering occurs, light rays hit the air particles in different ways, which in turn, redirects the light into a new direction! But what kind of blogger would I be if I just gave you that boring information?      The color we see is actually the product of the difference in the wavelengths of light and the size of the particles in the air. If anyone learned this ( I didn’t), there is an acronym ROYGBIV. This is super neat because it tells you the order of the rainbow! Top to bottom red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet; this also happens to be the spectrum of visible light wavelength longest – shortest. And when the sun is at the horizon–typical settings for sunsets or sunrises, when the wavelength of the light has more particles to dance with, they create more color, including short wavelengths like violet!      Now that you know the quick science behind it let me tell you one thing that could take this dazzling phenomenon away from us. Because sunsets and sunrises need particles to shoot through light for the gorgeous colors we all know and love to appear, to counter the claim that “pollution results in ravishing sunsets” pollution produces pollutants that are pretty much the same size in diameter as the light rays shooting through them. As you probably can imagine, this results in sadder-looking sunsets and removes the purples and sticks with primarily red and orange along with scattering cloudy skies, eventually subsiding into a muted sunset.But don’t fret; in truth, there are always lovely sunsets to be seen just about every evening; we can’t always see it from our perspective on the ground, but when peeking from an aerial viewpoint, like a plane, you’ll always see one!      Fun fact: Before we witness a sunset, it’s honestly gone. Yeah, you read that right. Sunsets are nothing more than the purest illusion. The light is getting bent by the effect of refraction.      Refraction is bending light, sound, and any other wave you can think of, including water. The earth’s atmosphere and the help of our friend refraction “bend” the sunlight, which is how we can see the mirage of a sunset. By the time we see a sunset, the sun has dipped below the horizon and has ended its shift.     If you want to learn more about how we can try to save our sunsets, please stay informed on global pollution. You can look through these recommended websites or stray further!