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Wake up early to check out some beautiful sunrises

What better way to wake up then with a beautiful sunrise, right? The last few mornings you might have noticed more vivid sunrise action in Northeast Kansas. There are some really cool reasons why this is.

The past few sunrises have exposed some really vibrant reds and oranges. Reds and oranges are normal to see at this time of the day. We see those colors because the sun’s light passes through more of the sky during the morning and the evening.

Light is easily scattered. Blue and violet colors are scattered the most in the atmosphere. When light passes through more of the sky, like it does in the morning and evening, those blues and violets are sent away from your eyes. Red and orange colors still shine in your eyes, however. Those colors become even more vivid when there are “things” in the sky.

There are many “things” you cannot see in the air with the naked eye. The size of these “things” is often very, very small. We call these tiny guys “particulate matter,” or particles. Summertime forest fires (especially out in the western United States) put an incredible amount of smoke, ash and soot up in the sky by late summer and early fall. These particles preferentially bring out those reds and oranges even more. This is why it is not uncommon to have some really beautiful sunrises, and sunsets in the late summer and fall. Even more cool is that when the sun is really bright, during the middle of the day, those particles preferentially scatter the light such that your eyes see a lot of pale yellow (a lot of humidity, combined with those dirty particles, can make it even more pale yellow).

Those yellow days, and red/orange sunrises and sunsets, often characterize what we call the “Dog Days of Summer” (in August), as well as what is called “Indian Summer” come the middle of fall. So, take the opportunity on one of your work or school mornings to get outside and take in the warm colors of scattered light. I guarantee you it will shine a little light on your day, just as much as it does in mine.

How does a beautiful sunrise, or sunset, impact your day, friends?


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