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One reason you want to start watching sunsets in the weeks to come

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Volcanic sunsets are remarkably breathtaking.

Here's the one reason why you'll want to take in a sunset over the next several weeks. We assure you, it's going to be worth it. 


By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
1/18/2022 (1 year ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: sunset, volcano, sky, Tonga

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The eruption of a volcano off the coast of Tonga in the South Pacific will have one spectacular, global impact. Ash from the eruption will color sunsets over the next several weeks, as it circles the globe. 

A major submarine volcanic eruption off the island of Tonga created a major tsunami on January 15 and sent ash more than 12 miles into the atmosphere. The tsunami is responsible for three deaths, one on Tonga, and two more in Peru. The wave spread across the Pacific and lapped at beaches around the entire Ring of Fire. 

While the event was destructive, and represents a major disaster for the people of Tonga, the rest of the world will gain one benefit from the event, beautiful sunsets. It's poor compensation for such a grave cost. 

Nonetheless, the skies around Tonga are already bearing gorgeous sunsets, and as the ash plume from the eruption circles the globe in coming weeks, the rest of the world will observe them too. 

The dramatic sunsets, which can display remarkable colors, from dazzling yellows, peach, orange, blazing reds, and violet purples, are stunning. When noticed, they end up in pictures and paintings and make for breathtaking displays. Early risers will notice the same effects at sunrise. 

The effect is caused by the ash, which scatters light, each particle acting as a prism. As the sun moves in the sky relative to the observer, the wavelengths of light seen by the viewer change, providing the dazzling array of colors. 

The effects are already being observed across the South Pacific, and as the ash crosses the equator, it will be notice in the northern hemisphere within weeks. The displays will last for several weeks, until the ash settles out of the atmosphere. 

Such events happen at random, but seem to occur every decade or so, when the world witnesses a major eruption. 

Anyone wishing to enjoy this display merely needs to go for a walk around sunset. The experience will be worth the time. 

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