Red sky at night, sailor's delight,
Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.
|Red sky at night over Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Photo Amy Stryker|
This is what we saw last night on our way back to the mooring. This was the reddest sky and air and water surface I had ever seen. It was magical.
I looked up the origin of the "red sky at night" phrase. Wikipedia tells us:
Weather systems typically move from west to east, and red clouds result when the sun shines on their undersides at either sunrise or sunset. At these two times of day, the sun's light is passing at a very low angle through a great thickness of atmosphere, the result of which is the scattering out of most of the shorter wavelengths — the greens, blues, and violets — of the visible spectrum, and so sunlight is heavy at the red end of the spectrum. If the morning skies are red, it is because clear skies to the east permit the sun to light the undersides of moisture-bearing clouds coming in from the west. Conversely, in order to see red clouds in the evening, sunlight must have a clear path from the west in order to illuminate moisture-bearing clouds moving off to the east. There are many variations on this piece of lore, but they all carry the same message.
Wikipedia then adds a biblical reference:
Matthew 16:2-3 -- [Jesus] replied, [to some Pharisees and Sadducees that wanted to "test" him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven]
"When evening comes, you say,
'It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.'
And in the morning,
'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.'
You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times."
This Bible verse shows that even in the times of Jesus people were already using this saying. This might indicate that the saying was already older around that time.
Next on my bucket list: See the green flash.
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