BIG PICTURE: Dazzling 'pink sunset' snapped over Leeds tonight. But what causes a pink sunset?

The dazzling pink sunset over Leeds tonight
The dazzling pink sunset over Leeds tonight
Have your say

A beautiful, dazzling pink sunset was snapped on the horizon of Leeds' skies tonight.

The wondrous pink phenomenon was captured by social media users across the city.

But what causes a pink sunset?

Molecules and small particles in the atmosphere change the direction of light rays, causing them to scatter.

Scattering affects the color of light coming from the sky, but the details are determined by the wavelength of the light and the size of the particle.

Because the sun is low on the horizon, sunlight passes through more air at sunset and sunrise than during the day, when the sun is higher in the sky.

More atmosphere means more molecules to scatter the violet and blue light away from your eyes. If the path is long enough, all of the blue and violet light scatters out of your line of sight. The other colors continue on their way to your eyes. This is why sunsets are often yellow, orange, and red.”

And because red has the longest wavelength of any visible light, the sun is red when it’s on the horizon, where its extremely long path through the atmosphere blocks all other colors.