Unveiling the Mystery: The Reason Behind This Week's Red Sunrise and Sunset
Smoke from Western Wildfires Makes Sunsets in Ohio and Pennsylvania Look Different
Did you happen to notice something unusual about the sunset on Wednesday evening, September 15, 2022? If you did, you saw that the sun had a deep orange to almost red color. What caused this change in the sun's color was the smoke from wildfires that originated in the western part of the country, which is showing up high in the sky and leading to a different look to the sun and the sky during sunset. The smoke has also created a milky haze in the sky through the afternoon.
Impact of Smoke on the Sky
For those concerned whether the smoke from the wildfires will have an impact on Ohio and Pennsylvania, the answer is not much. The wildfire smoke is high in the sky and should not impact our region. This smoke is way above the layer of air that we breathe every day, and it will drift overhead thousands of feet above the ground. This has been demonstrated by satellite images showing that smoke is not showing up at 1,000 feet above ground level, but it is showing up around 6,000 feet above ground level. Therefore, the smoke is high off the ground and will not impact our health.
Daily Life Impact
Now, you must be thinking, will the smoke affect our daily life in any way? The answer to this question is - yes, but in a minor way. The primary effect that we will experience is a milky sky. You will also see an orange or red sunset that looks a little different than usual since the smoke will filter/fade out the short wavelengths of light that we see on the horizon. This filtering of the shorter wavelengths leaves the longer wavelengths for our eyes to see, and these are the red and orange colors of the spectrum. This is why, typically, the sunset has more of an orange/red tint to it with smoke in the sky. Additionally, the smoke will lower the brightness of the sun to our eyes as the smoke scatters the light, making the red glow show up late in the evening or early in the morning.
Although smoke from western wildfires has affected the sunsets in Ohio and Pennsylvania in some way, it is not a matter of concern. The smoke is too high above the ground to impact our health, and any effect on our daily life will be minimal. We can still enjoy the beauty of the sunset with a different tint of orange or red, and perhaps take it as a reminder of our environment’s fragile nature.
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