Tuesday, August 27, 2013

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“If the boy and girl walk off into the sunset hand-in-hand in the last scene, it adds 10 million to the box office.” George Lucas



Why is sunset so alluring to me? Why it brings so much of breathless moments and dreams? Sunset sky, to me, is just like a canvas of great colorful and wonderful painting by a great painter and here in this case God is the painter, undoubtedly.  In my early years, I used to watch this golden hour of sundown with intense pleasure.  But, now when I grow up and becoming more mature, I see the things with facts and unwilling to accept the things as they are, sometimes it’s very irritating indeed; I deep dig to any matter that comes across my mind. Recently, during my quest for knowledge I come up with an interesting topic on sunset that says – the setting sun is one big optical illusion.

That means the sun that we see in the western sky at sunset does not exist technically. Oh, it drives me crazy. Okay, now I get little scared. Is this scientific fact going to attack my romantic feelings about sunset? Hmm…okay, of course not. I can expand my field of interest with huge facts that are scientifically proven correct regarding sunset and obviously, it will add more interest to my curiosity. We can see during sunset hours that sun is on the horizon but in reality what happens is, when the sun approaches the horizon the light from it is bent by the different density layers in the atmosphere and as a result we can see the bright glowing orb, whereas its original position is below the horizon. As the sun keep descending from afternoon to early evening, the size of the sun remains same all the way down. But, at the moment of sunset hours, the brightness of the sun drops down and looks different and special at sunset time, though the fact is that sun at sunset would look no different than at any other time. The Earth’s atmosphere is responsible for making sunset so special.

To be clearer, gradually and progressively dropping lower and lower on the horizon, the light of the sun needs to pass through huge distance of atmosphere to reach our eyes.  Finally, the sun loses its different wavelengths of light like blue wavelength then violets and greens, yellows and at last oranges leaving only the reddest wavelengths that reach our eyes.  When we see the red huge setting sun in the western sky, actually at that time the sun has already technically set, what we are seeing is because of the atmosphere that bends light and that light is only the refraction of our atmosphere.



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