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Why are Norfolk’s sunsets so beautiful this time of year?

PUBLISHED: 12:51 25 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:37 25 October 2018

A sunset over Wroxham. Picture: LAURA WEST

A sunset over Wroxham. Picture: LAURA WEST

Archant

Norfolk’s famously big skies have been bathed in rich hues of orange, red, yellow and pink as the sun has set each evening over the past week or so. But why are sunsets seemingly more majestic this time of year?

Clouds illuminated by a majestic sunset in Cromer. Picture: DEB HERBERTClouds illuminated by a majestic sunset in Cromer. Picture: DEB HERBERT

Part of the reason is simply that autumn and winter sunsets are more noticeable because they take place earlier in the day - often when people are outside to appreciate them. Today’s sunset (Thursday, October 25) is due to happen at 5.36pm, right when many of us will be making our way home after the day’s work.

But the science behind sunsets is more complicated.

As we know, the sun curves an increasingly lower path through the sky as winter draws nearer and it stays lower, near the horizon, for much longer than in summer.

This means the sun’s light has to pass through more of the Earth’s atmosphere, and therefore more molecules, before it hits our eyes.

Clouds illuminated by a majestic sunset in Cromer. Picture: DEB HERBERTClouds illuminated by a majestic sunset in Cromer. Picture: DEB HERBERT

Blue light, which has a relatively short wavelength, gets easily scattered by the greater volume of air molecules, leaving more space for those gorgeous reds, oranges and pinks to reach us.

The recent clear skies have also meant less pollution in the atmosphere, which further diffuse the hues.

And the high, streaky cirrus clouds we have been seeing overhead have provided the perfect canvas to see the detail and contrasts in all those stunning colours.

MORE: Readers capture photos of beautiful sunset over Norfolk

Have you taken a photo of a brilliant Norfolk sunset recently? Email stuart.anderson@archant.co.uk

Beautiful colours in the sky at MouseholdBeautiful colours in the sky at Mousehold

A beautiful autumn sunset in Cromer. Picture: STELLA EVANSA beautiful autumn sunset in Cromer. Picture: STELLA EVANS

A beauitful Norfolk sunset. Picture: ANDREW HALEA beauitful Norfolk sunset. Picture: ANDREW HALE

A sunset at Stiffkey. Picture: MICHELLE DOEA sunset at Stiffkey. Picture: MICHELLE DOE

A sunset at East Ruston. Picture: MICHELLE DOEA sunset at East Ruston. Picture: MICHELLE DOE

The sunset at Toftwood. Picture: STEVE ELLISThe sunset at Toftwood. Picture: STEVE ELLIS

Beautiful colours light up the sunset sky over King's Lynn. Picture: NATALIE RBeautiful colours light up the sunset sky over King's Lynn. Picture: NATALIE R

A sunset over Bowthorpe. Picture: JEAN COLMANA sunset over Bowthorpe. Picture: JEAN COLMAN

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