The red or orange tint the sun sometimes takes is caused by small particles in the Earth's atmosphere. The sun appears redder at sunset because the light must pass through a greater thickness of air compared to when the sun is at its zenith.
Packets of light that pass through the Earth's atmosphere are known as photons. These photons scatter off particles in the atmosphere. Blue-tinted photons have a shorter wavelength and tend to get scattered in the atmosphere. Red-tinted photons have longer wavelengths and tend to pass through the atmosphere rather than get scattered like the blue ones. This causes the red wavelengths to penetrate the atmosphere better than the blue ones, making them much more visible. When the sun has almost set, it is really already about a diameter below the horizon. The light at this position of the sun is bent by refraction before reaching an observer's eyes. The point in time when the sun is rising or setting is when the light has to travel through the most atmosphere. When thin clouds appear in front of the sun, the reddening effect is intensified, causing the clouds themselves to resemble a pinkish color. The clouds are thin as air and scatter the blue light so well that the red light is left, causing the pink color.Learn More
The Coriolis effect is caused by a combination of the inertia of moving air and the rotation of the Earth. Air tends to move from high pressure to low pressure in a straight line, but the rotation of the Earth means that, to an observer at one spot on its surface, the moving air appears to turn. This effect increases as the air moves faster.Full Answer >
A rainbow is caused by the sun hitting water droplets in the atmosphere and reflecting the light so that people see a spectrum of colors. Rainbows are bowed in the center due to the fact that rainbows result from a group of circular arcs that have one common center.Full Answer >
The three layers of the sun's atmosphere are the chromosphere, the transition layer and the corona. The corona is both the outer layer and the hottest layer of the atmosphere, as it can reach 2 million degrees Fahrenheit.Full Answer >
Day and night are experienced as the Earth rotates around the sun on its axis. It takes the Earth 24 hours to make one complete spin, and it rotates at a rate of approximately 1,367 miles per hour.Full Answer >