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CORDERO'S CORNER: Why Does the Sky Sometimes Turn Pink?

CORDERO'S CORNER: Why Does the Sky Sometimes Turn Pink?
Posted at 6:30 AM, Nov 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-15 03:35:48-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) -- Every Tuesday on WTXL Sunrise, you'll be able to have one of your own weather questions answered by Meteorologist Alex Cordero.

This week, our question came from Erin Blanton, from Lake Park, Georgia.

Her question: "Why does the sky sometimes turn pink in the evening?"

It all depends on the angle of the sun's light, in relation to the Earth's atmosphere.

The sun releases light in all colors. It is deemed as "white light". Once the rays of the sun reach the atmosphere, all color wavelengths of this light are scattered in all directions. But some colors don't scatter as much. The shortest wavelengths scatter first. Blue won't scatter away as quickly as purple, so the blue color is dominant enough to be seen by humans. This also explains why the Earth's sky looks blue more often than any other color.

When the sun is at its peak in the sky, the light travels through the least amount of atmosphere, meaning the short wavelengths of blue power through.

As the sun sets, the light shot out by the sun has to travel through more of the atmosphere. This means that more blue would be scattered away, and the next dominant color would be the most visible to us. Red wavelengths are the longest, and the last in line of scattering. They are normally seen near sunset or sunrise as that is when only the longest wavelengths of light can make it through a thicker atmosphere without scattering away. Pink is a shade of red and it is sometimes visible at this time.

Clouds can reflect the light waves effectively, which is why a sky looks more pink when you have clouds present.

Remember you can send your questions to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or send them to ACORDERO@WTXL.TV