why sky is red in sunrise and sunset
So really, there's a good sunset every night; we just can't always see it from the ground. You may have noticed this if you've ever taken off in an airplane at sunset. It might not look like anything special from the ground, just a whitish-pink sky, because you're still within the atmosphere's boundary layer. That's where all the large particles are trapped, things like dust and pollution.
But as the plane gets above the boundary layer, into cleaner air, suddenly the sunset looks very vivid. It's all a matter of perspective.
Sunsets often have a red or orange color to them. Why is this? Sunlight (what we call "white light") is made up of all different colors of light, each having a different wavelength.
During a sunset, more red light is scattered toward you because of in the lower atmosphere, compared to the amount of blue or green light that is scattered. (Light scattering by different amounts for different wavelengths also explains the color of almost anything: green grass scatters more green light than all other colors of light. ) So why isn't the sky red when the sun is overhead?
Because at sunset (or sunrise) sunlight is passing through a much longer path of the lower atmosphere, which is where most of the aerosols are concentrated. So, the scattering effect of the aerosols is magnified, causing more red light to be scattered than other colors of light.
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