The dozens of wildfires raging in 13 states and Canada are transforming skies across much of the United States, and it’s most apparent at sunset and sunrise.
Gone is the familiar yellow sun, and in its place are red, orange and even surreal pink orbs set against hazy horizons.
Social media has been documenting the phenomenon, as the smoke has drifted over the Midwest to New England and more recently into the Midsouth. (A few states in the Deep South have been spared, but likely not for long.)
Experts say the color change will continue as the haze lingers. The effect is caused when smoke “scatters shorter wavelengths of light like yellow, green, blue and violent,” limiting our ability to see them, according to the National Weather Service State College in Pennsylvania.
“Longer wavelengths, like red and orange, can pass directly through the smoke layer,” the NWS says. “You see a red-orange sunset.”
The smoke is also generating air quality warnings in multiple states, particularly along the East Coast.
Here are examples of what people are seeing in skies across the country.