Nunavut’s capital Iqaluit experienced a mysterious reddish glow this past Tuesday that many residents had never seen. The phenomena was not a martian scan of Earth’s northern Arctic region in an effort to research our current global warming trend. However, as with other lighting occurrences in the far north, light reacting with dust and ice particles in the atmosphere causes some pretty unique effects. This one was pretty cool.
The photo with the red glow on the right was taken mid – afternoon on Tuesday and the image on the left was taken about the same time the following day, Wednesday. Nick Murray/CBC photo.
CBC North meteorologist Ashley Brauweiler described the glow as a result of sunlight scattering and intensifying because of the time of day the photo was taken. These photos were taken at sunset when the sun is lower in the sky.”When the sun is at a low angle in the sky, the light has a longer distance to travel,” said Brauweiler. “The blue [coloration, which leads to a more common ‘blue sky’] gets removed by the ice crystals and salt in the air, which leaves red visible.”
“The clouds are much larger than light waves, which allows them to take on the color, in this case pink.”
The phenomena is a fairly rare sight…but a amazing one for sure!