Besides the sun descending below the horizon per se, sunsets have a remarkable effect that can appeal to sight and bring calm: the scattering sunlight that embellishes the sky during civil twilight. This takes place when the sun’s center is at a position less than six degrees below the horizon. When this occurs during evening, it starts at sunset and ends when the sun’s center is located six degrees below the horizon. +
Though sunlight radiation images may differ due to a variety of atmosphere-related factors, generally, these result in incredibly beautiful celestial paintings. Usually, spectacular gradations of yellow, orange and red colors may be seen on the firmament. Other times a bluish and purplish sky, or a blend of yellow, orange, red and blue colors, and even pink hues, may be admired. ++
Staring at the mellow colors of this panoramic view of the horizon may induce relaxation. At that time of day when the sun has begun to rest, it even seems that the universe is asking us (humankind) to pause: to simmer down and cherish Mother Earth. We have the option of accepting such offer and taking time to appreciate the scenery, the day we experienced, and life.
So next time you miss a sunset, do not leave the sightseeing spot. You still may be rewarded by twilight.
+ Definitions of Twilight. National Weather Service. https://www.weather.gov/fsd/twilight
Bikos, K. and Kher, A. Twilight, Dawn and Dusk. timeanddate.com. https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/different-types-twilight.html
++ Kher, A. Why Does the Sky Turn Red at Sunrise and Sunset? timeanddate.com. https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/red-sunset.html