Hazy sunshine: Why the smoke makes the sun look red

 Tuesday's smoky haze had many snapping photos of a red sun rising in the sky. The smoke came from wildfires far to the northwest in Alberta, Canada. The plumes of smoke rise into the upper atmosphere. From there the upper-level wind can take it vast distances: today it was the Midwest. 

So why does the sun look so red? The short answer is it's  same reason the sky looks blue on a clear day: absorption of sunlight. The smoke filters out shorter wavelengths of light, leaving mostly red and orange wavelengths to shine through. The sun is also dimmer, because the smoke scatters the light.

Sunset and sunrise are often most vibrant with smoke in the atmosphere because the red and orange hues are accentuated more. Share your photos on our Facebook page and use #SuperSunset57 on Twitter. 

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