There has to be an invisible sun

Quick science lesson: Smoke from distant fires rises high into the atmosphere, flattens into thick layer. Wind pushes layer of smoke hundreds of miles away above Santa Rosa and the Bay Area. High, thick layer of smoke completely blots out the sun. At lower elevations, marine layer pushes in from the Pacific Ocean and forms a “protective bubble” closer to the ground. Bubble keeps the layer of smoke aloft and prevents it from settling, so air at the surface remains relatively clear and clean. However, particles of smoke above the bubble refract sunlight. The blue range of the spectrum is reflected, leaving the orange range of the spectrum to penetrate the smoke. That causes the sky to take on a glowing, apocalyptic hue, bathing everything below in the eerie palette of an atomic wasteland on Mars.

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They call me Old Grumble-Face. I have no idea why they do that....

8 response to "There has to be an invisible sun"

  1. By: BobinVT Posted: September 10, 2020

    That orange hue in most of the pictures definitely gives them an otherworldly aspect. It must be so strange to see your normal environment look like this. I can’t imagine. Glad to hear that the air at surface level is ok, and you’re still able to get out and ride. Oh, and lots of nice arches.

    • By: Bill Stone Posted: September 10, 2020

      TV news has been full of pics and descriptions submitted by locals from all around the Bay. Some pretty amazing orange photos. But I’m not sure I’ve noticed any shots of arches. 😉

    • By: Bill Stone Posted: September 10, 2020

      That’s hilarious! I had to read the article aloud to my ace support crew. She also got a big kick out of it.

      PS: The article references an 80-year-old guy who “got a little rampant.” Anybody we know?

      • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: September 10, 2020

        Nah, that was in 2003, I was just a youngster back then . . . . . may have been Dwight 😉

  2. By: gregblood Posted: September 10, 2020

    I must say, I’ve never seen anything like that freaky orange sky. I hope I don’t see anything like it when I drive my son back to Seattle today.

    • By: Bill Stone Posted: September 10, 2020

      Good luck! The way things are going, the entire Left Coast from Canada to Mexico could soon be under an orange dome.

  3. By: The Navigator Posted: September 12, 2020

    Stay safe! We watch on with empathy and horror from over here. We’re all too familiar with orange skies and falling ash. I think the Aussies are feeling a bit more grateful for our low population density and numbers, though. Oz burnt 46 million acres and 3 billion animals last summer – but for all those acres burnt, only 32 lives and 3,000 homes were lost. The acreage burnt in the western US is much, much lower, but the human and house toll so much higher. Sending all my best and all my good juju that there is some ease in conditions soon. It’s concerning that, like Oz last summer, fire is rampaging through rainforests 🙁

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