At sunrise and sunset, the Sun is very low in the sky. This means that the sunlight we see has travelled through a much thicker amount of atmosphere and has travelled further. As the blue light has already been scattered, there is  more longer wavelength yellow and red light for us to see.

These effects are a cause of Rayleigh Scattering.

Why are Orange Sunsets so attractive?

Many people rush outside when there is a spectacular sunset or sunrise. In my view, this is because of the vivid colours that light up the sky for a few moments. It is like having our own movie show. It reminds us that we are part of a planetary system on which we depend for life. All around us is the vastness of space and the glories of the natural world.  Next time a spectacular sunset or sunrise is forecast, make time to look up the sky and marvel at one of the free wonders of Earth.

Have you seen a vivid sunset? Send your pictures to

To find out more about sunsets visit the Met Office website

and the BBC