Photographer's Note

My driveway at home leads to a golf course. With little interest in golfing, I am not tempted to stray from browsing the sensational photos being posted diametrically opposite my world in the Eastern United States, but sometimes the view of the trees blanketed by snow or ice, or the sunrises and sunsets are compelling enough for me to pick up my camera. So it was yesterday as the sun set over the horizon.

For the scientists (as well as the non-scientists) among my TE-friends, the hues of blue, green and violet — all shorter wavelengths of light present during the day — can be explained by "Rayleigh Scattering." At the turn of the 20th century, the immensely brilliant physicist, Lord Rayleigh, explained mathematically that the molecules and atoms of air determined the color of the sky, the intensity of the radiation to be inversely proportional to the wavelength raised to the fourth-power. As a footnote, Lord Rayleigh also nominated himself for the Nobel Prize 3-4 times, and only when he gave up the futile quest, was he awarded the Nobel Prize (it is in the by-laws of the Nobel Prize that no one cannot nominate himself).

In distinction, sunsets — manifestations in the longer wavelengths of light (hues of reds, peaches and oranges) — are explained by "Mie Scattering." This phenomenon takes place when the sun is at low angles, with the scattering of light taking place from dust, soot, smoke and (ash) particles. Ironically, it is catastrophic events such as forest fires, dust storms and volcanic eruptions, releasing particulate matter into the atmosphere, that explain somes of nature's most beautiful natural phenomena. A number of vocanic eruptions in recent times, including those of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 and Krakatoa in 1883, are known to have produced some of the most extraordinary sunsets and sunrises all over the world.

It is gratifying to use a digital camera, Nikon D-70, where scanning is not required, as in some of the other images that I've recently posted. The simple mat was created in PhotoShop.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6774 W: 470 N: 12149] (41261)
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