Soft colours in the western sky before sunrise

Pastels on paper

This pastel shows a combined sequence of directly observed and recorded stages, creating an overview of the important changes in the soft colours observed in the western sky of a clear day, just before sunrise. These subtle but amazing spectacles of soft colours in the sky feel to me both emotionally soothing and inspiring. A similar sequence (but in reverse) occurs in the eastern sky on clear days just after sunset. Are these spectacles the result of sunlight refracting through our planet’s atmosphere at these special times, as the Earth rotates on its axis?

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by Neil Huggett