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Author Topic: The science behind golden/magic light  (Read 1220 times)

alosurdo

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The science behind golden/magic light
« on: January 31, 2013, 12:54:50 AM »

Hi guys,

My son asked me about why you get the magic/golden light some mornings and other mornings you dont. Apart from the obvious rainy and very very cloudy mornings, i couldnt actually give him a explanation. I have just gone by the "luck of the draw", though searching for a scientific explanation, i drew a blank

Does anyone know the answer to this??

Cheers

Andrew
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Tony Jay

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Re: The science behind golden/magic light
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2013, 03:43:42 AM »

Andrew, the answer is all in the diffraction of light.

Tony Jay
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: The science behind golden/magic light
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2013, 07:01:50 AM »

Does anyone know the answer to this??

Hi Andrew,

It depends on the amount and type of aerosols in the air at that particular moment.
http://mynasadata.larc.nasa.gov/docs/hazyskies.pdf
http://www.math.ubc.ca/~cass/courses/m309-04a/sky-colours.pdf

Cheers,
Bart
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 10:31:24 AM by BartvanderWolf »
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alosurdo

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Re: The science behind golden/magic light
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2013, 04:47:44 PM »

thanks for taking the time to reply. So the next obvious question is.... there really is no way of predicting when some days may be better then others??
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jeremypayne

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bill t.

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Re: The science behind golden/magic light
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2013, 07:09:07 PM »

You get the best colors when local meteorology cooks up a layer of distant clouds towards sunrise or sunset, such that Mr. Sun peeks at at you between the horizon and the base of the clouds.  And it gets even better if there are clouds overhead at those times that can catch and reflect the highly colored light that would otherwise merely head off into the cosmos at 299,792,458 meters/second without ever revealing its out-of-gamut beauty to mere Earthlings.   I think.  Personally, I mostly just show up at my favorite locations towards sunset with my fingers crossed.  Light show or not, that's reward enough.
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Jaffy

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Re: The science behind golden/magic light
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2013, 02:49:24 PM »

Hi.
Don't know where you are, but here in the SW UK the prevailing wind is westerly/southwesterly, so we get the best sunsets when a cloudy low-pressure has just passed through and a high-pressure is arriving; This is because the setting sun shines and diffracts through the clear high-pressure system and illuminates the underside of the clouds overhead. So I keep an eye on the Met-Office satellite.

In contrast, a good sunrise is when a high-pressure has just passed towards the rising sun, and a cloudy low is arriving.

We have a saying; 'Red sky at night, shepherds delight: Red sky in morning, shepherds warning', as good weather is on it's way after good sunset and bad after good sunrise.

So hopefully this, together with whatever is suspended in the atmosphere (for us it's Atlantic mists and whatever Iceland throws our way!), will give us some sort of golden light.

http://www.atoptics.co.uk/atoptics/sunsets.htm
This Atmospheric Optics site has some good info.
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Patricia Sheley

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Re: The science behind golden/magic light
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2013, 02:57:37 PM »


We have a saying; 'Red sky at night, shepherds delight: Red sky in morning, shepherds warning', ...

We have the same for "Sailor's delight and Sailors take warning  :)
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 06:45:42 PM by Patricia Sheley »
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