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Deconstructing the sunset only enhances sense of wonder - The Galveston County Daily News: Outdoors

May 27, 2016

Deconstructing the sunset only enhances sense of wonder

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  • Deconstructing beauty

    The silhouetted egrets and sea-grass set themselves apart against a sky aglow by sunset colors at Galveston’s West Bay

  • Deconstructing beauty

    The smallest tufts of reed along the bay shore were set ablaze as the sun poured light across the water in liquid gold.

     

Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014 1:37 pm

As an artist, I’m wary of deconstructing the end-product of any form of creation. Beauty for beauty’s sake, a sunrise or a sunset is there for us to marvel at, reflect on, rejoice in and simply enjoy.

But the causes of the phenomenon that creates such colors, which no artist can truly re-create them, only enhance my sense of wonder.

Basically, as the sun moves farther from our eye and touches the 180 degree angle of the horizon, the blue and green hues get removed from the sunlight because of their shorter wavelength components, leaving the red hues visible to our eyes.

The evening air contains more particles than morning air, and together with cloud droplets, scatter the remaining red hues into the full palette of oranges and lilacs. A fairly basic process with fantastic results.

After a cold front, the air is more cleansed and thus the colors are at their clearest.