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Rich Sunsets

February 3, 2020

You may have noticed that sunrises and sunsets seem to be more vivid in winter.  There are some reason for that!


Cooler temperatures allow for better air circulation. When the air can circulate more freely, dust particles and pollutants are scattered more effectively.


The angle of the earth to the sun may be the biggest reason. Blue light has a short wavelength, so it gets scattered easiest by air molecules, such as nitrogen and oxygen. Longer wavelength lights -- reds and oranges -- are not scattered as much by air molecules. During sunrise and sunset, light from the sun must pass through much more of our atmosphere before reaching our eyes, so it comes into contact with even more molecules in the air. The blue bounces off and the reds and oranges are seen. 


Finally, you most likely notice more sunrises and sunsets in winter since the photoperiod is shortened. The sun rises later and sets earlier so you don't have to get up at a frighteningly early hour or stay out past dinner time to capture the beauty.  


Mountaintops and beaches are the best places for watching the sunset or sunrise in New England. Mt. Ascutney, Sunapee, Monadnock are all nearby and great places to catch a sunset. Just don't forget to dress warm and bring a flashlight!


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