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Apr 03, 2007

Rosy-Fingered Dawn


I have always wondered if the low-angled sun at dawn gave the same red skies as it did in the evening. 

Well, now I (finally) know.

Can anybody verify my suspicion that the red part of dawn is more visible on the coast than in the piedmont?  Not that I'd know that much about sunrise in the piedmont, late riser that I am...

I caught this sunrise when allergies pushed me out of bed at 6 a.m. in search of some Claritin.  Ugh for the early, but I reckon the view was worth it.

Regarding the title of this blog -- have you read The Five Minute Iliad and Other Instant Classics: Great Books for the Short Attention SpanGrace introduced it to me a few years ago.  Hi-frickin-larious.  Especially the title piece, which gives you something new to think about when you see Brad Pitt in armor.  Rosy-fingered dawn, for real, baby.

02:11 AM in Misc.Blog 2007, Reviews | Permalink


I'm presuming that you have heard the phrase "Red skies at morning, sailor take warning; red skies at night, sailor's delight?" Red skies in the morning tend to mean foul weather later in the day, although I suppose that means during the entirety of dawn and not just the crack of sunrise like you have captured here.

Posted by: Celeste Copeland | Apr 4, 2007 8:35:07 AM

Celeste -- someone reminded me of that saying just yesterday. (My problem in remembering the first half has always been my bent to say "Red skies at dawn, .. um.. uh."

About that saying, I've wondered if it meant "broad red sky" over the whole sky for a while, not just a skinny band of red just before sunrise.

So many things to wonder, this week.

Posted by: Phil | Apr 4, 2007 5:00:36 PM

Regarding whether you see better red skies at dawn from the coast vs. inland, one thing we can say is, at the coast, you can see the sky right down to the horizon where the light would refracted the most. So, I presume, yes, you can see better red skies on the coast, whether it be sunrise (on the East Coast) or sunset (on the West Coast).

As far as I know, there is no difference between sunrise and sunset with respect to how red a sky may be. I'll go out on a limb and say that the redness is caused by refraction of the sun's rays in the curved atmosphere of the earth. The red end of the spectrum is bent toward the ground, and the blue end is bent less and, thus, is seen less by us. How much we see of the red end is probably related to how much dust or moisture (or clouds) are in the air. The picture you took has red skies for sure, but with little dust, haze, or clouds for the redness to shine against and be scattered by, the sunrise is not spectacular overall.

I always thought Archer Pelican meant "Archipelago." Is this not the case?

Posted by: Elrond Hubbard | Apr 5, 2007 6:00:09 PM