Sunset, With Contrails

Brought to the planet Earth especially for you by the laws of physics, I present a beautiful sunset!

The diffraction of light though the atmosphere as we pass the terminator into darkness had caused the short blue wavelengths to all be filtered out, leaving only a zillion shades of red, pink, peach, crimson, raspberry, scarlet, violet, rose, burgundy, vermilion, carmine, ruby, rust, redwood, cardinal, and maroon.

The condensation of some water vapor in the atmosphere about six miles above the surface of the planet has given us a nice white background to be tinted by all of those colors, fluffy, puffy, airy, billowy, ripply, and swirling.

Behind it the blue sky fades to shades of ultramarine, navy, cobalt, midnight, and periwinkle, followed by shades of heliotrope, mulberry, purpureus, slate, onyx, gray, grey, ebony, charcoal, jet, and black.

Across this palette like a knife streak two man-made wonders of titanium, aluminum, carbon fiber, and Jet-A, leaving behind them arrow-straight tails of expanding and dissipating water vapor condensation.

Natural and man-made clouds, they act together to allow us to see all of the colors the Sun, Earth, and atmosphere have contrived to briefly project through the air.

Has it ever occurred to you that if there aren’t any clouds at sunset, if the sky is crystal clear, all of those colors are there, but they’re just passing unseen off into space, lost forever because they had nothing to reflect off of?

photo 1And before you ask…

photo 3NO, I haven’t had a thing to drink, smoke, or otherwise indulge in. It’s just some cosmic thinking, no doubt brought about by that really excellent television show on Fox that just finished.

Out of sight, man!

 

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