Understanding why sky is red from forest fire smoke

Written by Daniel Gregory

September 10, 2020

Some of the images from the American West have been surreal during the massive forest fires happening this summer. I have seen a few too many posts in social media talking about how those are fake images so I thought I would do a quick video to show how that happens. And while I do use Photoshop to explain the reason, the science behind the effect is the cause. In short, the smoke is so thick that the shorter wavelengths of light are blocked up causing only the longer red, yellow, and orange spectrum through. The result is an otherworldly experience. A little color theory and a little science and you get red skies.

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