Red skies in Jambi caused by haze filtering out sunlight

JAMBI: The skies turned red here on Sunday (Sept 22) due to the haze, caused by widespread forest fires, that has risen to the upper levels of the atmosphere, reports Sinar Harian.

The Malay daily reported that Indonesia National Board for Disaster Management information chief Agus Wibowo Soet had explained that the phenomenon, which was also known as "Rayleigh Scattering", was caused by the movement of haze away from hotspots.

Indonesian astronomer Marufin Sudibyo also explained that the skies did not turn red because of a sudden increase in temperatures.

"Rayleigh Scattering happens when sunlight is dispersed by smoke, dust or airborne particles that filter shorter wavelengths and release longer wavelengths that are in the orange or red spectrum, making the area appear to be dim and red," he said.

Marufin also told Sinar Harian that in the Jambi situation, the density of the micro- and nano-particles in the air was large enough to make it much more dense than the normal atmosphere.

However, he stressed that the phenomenon did not have any adverse effects on human vision.

Sinar Harian also reported that similar scenes had been reported in Indonesia after the Krakatau volcano eruption in 1883 and after Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991.

Earlier, images and videos of the red sky at 11am in Jambi had gone viral on social media. – Sinar Harian

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