I was awoken from a good afternoon nap yesterday (Sunday, July 11th, 2021), by my daughter who had a bet with a couple of co-workers. She asked me if it was the sun or the moon that was showing bright red in the middle of the day.

After I fully awoke from my midday slumber, I went outside to take a look for myself. It actually took me a second before I honestly knew the difference. As a matter of fact, at first I thought it was the Strawberry Moon that's scheduled to happen later on this month. After talking with my neighbors, who were also enjoying the beauty of the spectacle, I realized what exactly what it was that I was seeing.

The smoke from wildfires is the cause for the apparent change in color to the closest star in our solar system. A quick Google search gleaned information that explains the phenomenon in greater detail.

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Michigan news and weather television website, WoodTV, states:

The reason the sun looks more red than usual has to do with the size of smoke particles and the wavelength of red light. On the visible light spectrum, red light has the longest wavelength and blue light has a shorter wavelength.

With smoke overhead, there are a lot of extra particles in the atmosphere. The added smoke particles scatter out the blue and violet light even more, accentuating the red light. The more smoke particles there are, the redder the sun will appear.

With the recent wildfires in our neighboring state of Colorado and the Wyoming wind pushing the smoke in our direction, we will more likely see many more views of the sun this color in the days that follow.

Having not been raised in the Cowboy State, a lot of good info like this managed to pass me by in my school age years. Thanks goodness for the internet.

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