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So I understand the basic principles of the scattering of light and how the shorter wavelengths like blue and green are scattered more during sunset/sunrise, causing us to see mainly the red light. If this is the case, how come if you look at the opposite side of the sunset to the east, the sky still appears blue? As the sun is setting in the west and scatters all shorter wavelengths, wouldn't we be left with only red light?

Please see the picture to help explain my question.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ The problem with the diagram is that the sun is actually much larger than the Earth, so light can reach the red box without going through the atmosphere before. $\endgroup$ – Javier Dec 12 '20 at 13:57
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This is because the light from the sky in directions other than that of the setting sun has had to be scattered to reach us. So it is predominantly not red.

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I think that most of the light that we see as coming from from the east side are scattered rays at high altitudes in the zenith to our horizon in the east. They are scattered again and come to our eyes travelling a few km.

The reddish light from the west also travels to east, but as the atmosphere scatters most blue light, it is much less scattered back to us.

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