Saturday, September 17, 2016

Arizona's spectacular sunsets

           Arizona sunsets may be one of the greatest shows on earth.  As day melts into night, the sky is lit up in brilliant oranges, reds and yellows.

Why? The explanation has to do with physics. I am science-challenged and don’t really fully understand the concept, but it goes something like this: The blue and violet colors in the sky’s color palette are short wavelengths, while red, orange and yellow are long wavelengths. As the earth turns, the wavelengths must travel farther to reach the same spot. The short wavelengths aren’t strong enough to travel that far through particles, such as nitrogen, oxygen and dust, in the earth’s atmosphere.  So they’re blocked out, and only the long wavelengths make it through. Clouds and the desert also have a hand in helping Mother Nature create these spectacular light shows.

Do we really need to understand the science behind Arizona’s gorgeous sunsets to appreciate them? Not really. All we need to do is enjoy them!