01 November 2018
The break of dawn and the sun’s dusk descent have long been sources of artistic inspiration, from poetry to paintings. The sky is a commons – irrespective of where you are in the world, we all share the same endless sky: it’s free and freeing. A beautiful sky is something that everyone can appreciate.
Last week we had gorgeous skies in Perth – honey soaked clouds and fuchsia pinks lit up areas, while melancholy blues and introspective purple haze descended over others. We asked you to send in your photos, and received a huge response! So here is a collection of just some of these beautiful images.
Maybe you’ve wondered: what is it that makes certain days and nights have such notably picturesque skies? Broadly, the answer is that it is a mixture of air, light and clouds.
During sunrise and sunset, the light from the sun has to reach through a lot more of our atmosphere before it reaches our eyes. As a result of this, it comes into contact with an increased number of molecules in the air. These molecules both scatter blue light while emphasizing reds and oranges, giving us our classic orange-y sunsets.
However, the drier, clearer and less polluted the air, more colours of the spectrum make it to our eyes before being scattered away by these molecules. So on days where the air is particularly clear, the blue light merges with the red and orange tones to create vivid, striking colours in the sky. This also explains why we tend to see more glorious skies around Autumn, when the air is crisp and clear.
Clouds are important here, too. The higher the cloud, the more likely it is to receive the sun’s light without attracting dust and pollutants that dull its glow. Ice crystals in the cloud scatter and reflect light, causing the glow you see in many of these pictures.
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, ‘Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight; red sky in morning, shepherds take warning’. This is actually backed by science! Pure red skies in morning can be indicative of a high water content in the atmosphere – in other words, rain abound.
Thanks again to everyone who sent in photos. Hopefully there will be many more clear skies ahead for us to enjoy.
Thanks to: Gavin Prime, Emma Louise Lang, Ian Simpson, Deborah Dickson, Leska Karolina, Claire Gordon, Craig Ross, Dimski Dimsum, Catherine McFie, Rosemary Gibb, Marysia Macfarlane, Andrew Douglas, Lynsey Gallacher, Gordon Muir, Darlene Macdonald, Rachel Scott, Michael Souter, and Jasmine McInnes.