The last February Sunrise on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands was spectacular. I took the 5.20 am Ferry from Russell island to Redland Bay Marina, taking photos as the colors deepened and changed with vivid intensity.
When the sun is low on the horizon during sunrises and sunsets, the sunlight travels through more of the atmosphere. Shorter wavelength colors (blues and violets) get scattered out. This leaves more of the longer wavelength colors like yellow, orange, and red. This is why sunrises often take on such colors
Clouds catch the last red-orange rays of the setting sun and the first light of the dawn like a theatre screen, and reflect this light to the ground.https://www.forbes.com/sites/marshallshepherd/2017/05/28/the-science-of-sunrises-4-fun-facts/?sh=69dd66712311
The best sunrises and sunsets seem to be associated with middle to high clouds rather than lower level clouds. Higher clouds receive sunlight that has not been altered by attenuation at lower levels. Typical pollution droplets such as those found in urban smog or summertime haze are on the order of .5 to 1 um in diameter. Particles this large are not good as they are comparable in size to the wavelength of visible light….pollutants also enhance light modification at low sun angles. This causes a reduction in the total light reaching our eyes and the overall brilliance of the sunrise.
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