• Question: How often do we get the red sun? and how does the red sun process happen?

    Asked by littleleah on 20 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Kate Timms

      Kate Timms answered on 20 Jun 2019:


      The red sun happens due to ‘dust’ particles in our earth’s atmosphere. Most of these particles bounce blue light off of them (called scattering) but reflect the red light wavelengths, allowing us to see them. When there is more dust in the atmosphere, often thanks to a volcano erupting, a red sun is more common.

      You also get a red sun at sunrise and sunset. This is because it’s light has to pass through more of the atmosphere to reach our eyes than it does when it’s high in the sky in the middle of the day. So there is more ‘dust’ for it to pass through and it appears redder!

      I hope that answered your question!

    • Photo: Matthew Bareford

      Matthew Bareford answered on 20 Jun 2019:


      the red sun I think you mean is caused by sand and dust from desert areas being picked up by a large storm such as a hurricane and spread through the atmosphere. This causes the suns light to be red due to the reflection of the light from the sand and dust.

      In theory this could happen after a particularly large storm hits a desert area in the future with the same weather pattern conditions.. so possible, but not very often

    • Photo: Kaitlin Wade

      Kaitlin Wade answered on 20 Jun 2019:


      The red sun is due to the red parts of the sun’s light spectrum being reflected off dust particles in the Earth’s atmosphere. As Kate says, these dust particles bounce blue light of them and then reflect the red light waves which is why we can see the sun as red. We also get red or blood moons which is where the moon passes into the Earth’s shadow and the moon turns red, because the only light reaching it is the red light from the edges of Earth’s sphere. I find those really cool.

    • Photo: Nina Rzechorzek

      Nina Rzechorzek answered on 21 Jun 2019:


      I think this covers your question, but sorry if it doesn’t – this is not my area of expertise!
      http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/about-us/46-our-solar-system/the-moon/observing-the-moon/142-why-are-the-moon-and-sun-sometimes-orange-or-red-beginner

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