Milky Way and a Reddish Moon Behind the Smoke of Fire in Yosemite


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First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, it´s full of beauty with deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, and a vast wilderness area where the animals are living in harmony with the strength of granite, the power of glaciers, and the tranquility of the High Sierra, that shows the persistence of life even with the large and strong fires that seems to threaten all this area each summer.

A blaze in Yosemite National Park have create smoky skies. The South Fork Fire, started about a mile east of Wawona grew to more than 5,100 acres, while to the north, near Glacier Point Road, the Empire Fire, started by a lightning, and grew to more than 2,300 acres. In the park, areas like Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and El Capitan have remained smoky for days. Due to this effect, we can see on the image taken in the Yosemite Valley, a reddish moon behind the smoke while at left side, the Milky Way is trying to shine. There are hints of red and brown but also blues in the clouds. Smoke particles are much smaller than the wavelengths of sunlight and scatter blue light much more strongly than red (Rayleigh scattering). The blues of the rays are strengthened whereas the clouds seen by transmission through shadowed smoky air have their light reddened because the blues are more strongly scattered from the direct beam.

 

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