Sunday on the Planet: The Twilight Wedge

Below is a phenomena I  have seen only in my so-called "Secret Camp," which I learned this week, can be attributed to the fact that only in this location am I likely to be looking many miles east during a sunset.

I thought that the sky was blue at the horizon, and pink above, because the scattering of the long rays of the setting sun simply didn’t reach the horizon. But no! A meterologist explains it this way:

Looking WEST you see the effects of scattering with blue skies above the reddening (pink) sunset sky near the horizon as only the longer wavelengths (red) reach our eyes through the denser air near the surface. Looking EAST, the sunlight is also scattered, changing from blue to the longer wavelength (reddish or pink). Then below that is the rising shadow of the earth against the sky called the twilight wedge, again bluish.

Got that? Let me put it this way: it’s easier to remember than to explain:


Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

2 thoughts on “Sunday on the Planet: The Twilight Wedge

  1. This oldish weatherman has seen many twilight wedges, and has pointed them out often. Wonderful teachable moments.




  2. Thanks Dano. So often we take not just the beauty, but the very existence of this world for granted — and don’t even understand what we see.

    Okay, now I’m getting off the soapbox…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: