Why does sunrise look so different each day, even if the weather and season is similar?


A couple days ago, the London sunrise was basically a fade-in from black to light grey. Today, it was stripes of vibrant pink and orange. In both cases, it was cold but not freezing and lightly cloudy. What other factors are causing the sky to look so different every day?

In: 4

Clear skies normally produce sunrises of pink or similar colors. This is because when light travels through atmosphere it loses shorter wavelengths leaving only longer wavelengths (like red). When the Sun is just above the horizon it has a lot atmosphere to travel through at an angle, so that’s when this effect is most visible. “Light grey” sunrise means that there are clouds at or beyond the horizon which absorb and re-emit the incoming sunlight in a different, boring cloudy spectrum.

Cuz the weather isn’t the same everyday!

Even if temperature and wind speeds are similar, the direction changes, humidity levels change, effectively the net amount of dust and moisture in the air varies every day, especially at higher altitudes.

Nothing is even remotely similar. The earth is rotating and orbiting the sun at the same time so the position of the earth and sun are never the same plus there are other things that affect the light as it travels thru space, but the biggest impact is the Earth’s atmosphere and weather which the slight humidity or dust in the air can affect the light and how our brain perceives it.