Why Cameron Peak Fire’s Smoke Makes Gorgeous Colorado Sunsets
Just about every other time of the day, the wildfire smoke makes for a nasty haze, but in the evenings, the sky lights up in vibrant reds and pinks. The reason why: Science, of course.
'Light rays hit small objects, such as molecules of nitrogen and oxygen, and bounce off in all directions,' the Royal Society of Chemistry said. 'The short wavelengths of blue light are scattered more efficiently by small objects than those of other colors, and this is why we see the sky as blue in daytime.'
In other words, smoke particles are bigger than regular air particles, and the big particles scatter red light, rather than blue. So, when there is a great amount of smoke particles in the air, like right now, they turn the sky red, CU Boulder's Demetrios Pagonis explained.
That's also the reason why a volcanic eruption in Russia turned Colorado's skies purple last year.
Around 6:30 p.m. every day, you'll see an enlarged hot pink sun setting behind the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, and while it's amazing to look at, our air quality is... not so amazing, so limit your time outdoors.