Sky watchers across the USA and Europe are reporting unusually colorful sunsets and sunrises. The cause appears to be the August 7th eruption of the Kasatochi volcano in Alaska’s Aleutian islands. The volcano hurled a massive cloud of ash and sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere; high winds have since carried the aerosols over parts of the USA and Europe. “Violet domes,” long pink rays crossing the sky, campfire-red aureoles around Venus–these are just a few of the sights documented on Spaceweather.com in recent days. When the sun goes down tonight, look west. You may be in for a treat.
Ongoing coverage of the phenomenon may be found at http://spaceweather.com.
Here’s a “violet dome” in a sunrise image taken yesterday in Stuttgart: