Photos: Wildfire smoke provided beautiful sunsets on Thursday night


Sunset over Rosslyn on Thursday. (Kevin Wolf via Flickr)

The sky was painted with pink and orange Thursday night as smoke from Canadian wildfires blew south into the Northeast U.S. to provide us with a brilliant sunset.

Smoke is made up of tiny particles from wildfires, which can provide more points for light to bounce from and scatter. This  leads to the enhancement of the red and orange hues you see. A deck of clouds near the horizon also has this effect, allowing the suns rays to reflect off the clouds and to our eyes.


Smoke from Canadian wildfires draped across the Northeast, providing an opportunity for vivid sunsets on Thursday night. (NASA Terra Satellite via Dan Satterfield)

While Thursday’s sunset was breathtaking across the D.C. area, wildfire season in Canada’s Northwest Territories has reached epic proportions, burning over 7 million acres so far in 2014. Smoke from this year’s fires has been making its way across the border since mid-July.


Sunset in Rosslyn from the Watergate steps. (Kevin Wolf via Flickr)

A smoky red sunset. (Momo Couture via Facebook)

Angela Fritz is an atmospheric scientist and The Post's deputy weather editor.
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