Red Sky at Night: The Science of Sunsets
A meteorologist explains why the sky is sometimes so colorful.
We asked Stephen Corfidi, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) meteorologist who's written about the science of colorful sunsets, to help us see the light.
I guess it depends on how you define "good," but I'm going to assume you mean a strikingly colorful one, where the colors are spectrally pure—say, vivid orange or red—as opposed to a more muted palette.
Keep in mind that what we see with our human eyes is just a tiny part of the electromagnetic radiation that's given off by the sun. That radiation contains a wide spectrum of wavelengths, but your eyes are only sensitive to certain parts of it: the so-called visible wavelengths. Different colors are associated with different wavelengths.
And depending on what