If you caught the sunset Friday evening you may have notice how red the sun and sunset looked.

Canadian wildfires are sending tons of smoke into the atmosphere. More than 900,000 acres is up in flames in Alberta Canada. The massive wildfire is sending plumes of smoke very high in the atmosphere and the smoke catches a ride with the jet stream and moves down stream into Pennsylvania. 

Why does the sun and the sunset look red?

The smoke particles absorb blue and it emits the color red. The more smoke you have the redder the sun and sunset look. The processes of scattering light is known as Rayleigh Scattering.

Rayleigh Scattering: Is the scattering of light by particles i.e. smoke, dust, and pollution.

Sunlight is made up of all the colors of the visible light spectrum. As light passes through the atmosphere the shorter wavelength light (like blue) is scattered more than the longer wavelength light (like red). When you have more particles in the sky like smoke, it scattered the color blue and emits the color red. That’s is why the sun and sunset looks red.