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How do sunsets work?

Learn the science behind these majestic natural phenomena.

October 19, 2016 | Latest Photo Prev Next
sunset in tel avivsunset in tel avivPhoto: Agencia de Viajes Turansa / Shutterstock
October 19, 2016 | Latest Photo

This photo taken near the Mediterranean shores of Tel Aviv, Israel is just one more reminder of how amazing sunsets are. We love these dashes of light across the sky, but we had no idea how they actually worked.

Carl Sagan once said, “It does no harm to the romance of the sunset to know a little bit about it," so we decided to take his advice.

As it turns out, it's all about our atmosphere. As the sun falls in the sky, the light waves it emits have to pass through more of the Earth's atmosphere. As a result, we can't see much of the blue light — only the brilliant reddish tones reach our eyes.

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