What causes sunrises and sunsets?

via Site Settings ‹ Beautiful Mess — WordPress.com

Recently, on a very early, chilly Christchurch morning, while self-pitifully heaving my hefty suitcase out of my accommodation towards the bus stop, I was stopped in my tracks by a magnificent fire brewing in the sky, brushing the wavy clouds with its rich pink-orange glaze. I was completely and utterly flabbergasted by the natural beauty staring me right in the face. Once again, Mother Nature had kindly but powerfully reminded me that my self-pity and tiny little useless worries are unnecessary and irrational. The reason? Because this:


Enough said.

How can something so natural be so powerful and beautiful? My human desire to always be in control cannot comprehend the fact that the magnificence surrounding me is due to no human influence. It is mind-boggling how this amazingness is just nature doing its thing.

Every time I have a ‘wow- moment’ with creation my whole life immediately gets put into perspective. The beauty and power around me disintegrates my anxieties, frustrations, obligations, and hurts, re-fueling me with a calmer, kinder, more truthful life perspective.

This, I believe, is the true power of nature.

This, I believe, is Our Creator’s intention of these blessings of natural grace and wonder.

While my eyes were feasting on this delicious sight, I couldn’t help but wonder how sunrises and sunsets actually occur. What is the science behind this daily blessing of radiance?

So I made enquiries with my mate Google* (prepare yourself for a nerdy sciencey bit).

Apparently, we see light and colour in the sky thanks to a phenomenon called “scattering”. When the sun is high in the sky during the day, the lesser amount of air that the sunlight passes through causes the short wave-length of blue and violet colours to be scattered by air molecules much more than the other colours in the light spectrum. Therefore, we see blue on a clear day. However, when the sun is on the horizon during sunrise and sunset, there is more atmosphere, which causes the short wave-length blue and violet colours to be scattered by molecules even more, to the point where they are scattered away from our eyes. Therefore, we see more of the other colours in the spectrum- red, orange, and yellow.

(You may exhale. The nerdy sciencey bit is over).

“Speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of  all mankind.” –Job 12:8-10

*Sunset Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071108135522.htm


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