The new color scheme is neon-eggplant.

The Calbuco eruptions aren't just creating a spectacle in southern Chile, with their lightning-streaked mushroom clouds and reverse-terraforming of the land into an ashen, "gray desert." Thousands of miles away they're showboating in Brazil, too, turning sunsets a weird, neon shade of eggplant.

The volcano erupted last Wednesday after more than four decades of silence. Now the sulfurous aerosols it coughed into the atmosphere are making it to the rest of South America. You can see them smudged all over the continent and ocean in this NASA image from Sunday:

NASA/OMPS

When lofted up high, volcanic particles can mess with the sky's normal palette. Tony Phillips of the stellar site Spaceweather explains more:

Purple is one of the telltale signs of a volcanic sunset. Fine volcanic aerosols in the stratosphere scatter blue light which, when mixed with ordinary sunset red, produces a violet hue. But purple isn't the only thing to look for, says atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley. In addition, he advises, sky watchers in Chile and Brazil should "be alert for a very bright yellow twilight arch, fine cloud structure in the arch seen through binoculars, and long diffuse rays and shadows."

Sure enough, Rio de Janeiro's skyline this weekend was backdropped by a color reminiscent of Nicki Minaj's lipstick. These photos were shot by Spaceweather reader Helio C. Vital, who reports the lavender radiance persisted an hour after sundown:

http://omnisciente.tumblr.com/post/117499774150/oxido-de-sulfuro-de-volcan-calbuco-produce

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: a wallet full of Yen bills.
    Life

    Japan’s Lost-and-Found System Is Insanely Good

    If you misplace your phone or wallet in Tokyo, chances are very good that you’ll get it back. Here’s why.

  2. Design

    How We Map Epidemics

    Cartographers are mapping the coronavirus in more sophisticated ways than past epidemics. But visualizing outbreaks dates back to cholera and yellow fever.

  3. photo: Masdar City in Abu Dhabi
    Environment

    What Abu Dhabi’s City of the Future Looks Like Now

    At the UN’s World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, attendees toured Masdar City, the master-planned eco-complex designed to show off the UAE’s commitment to sustainability.

  4. A photo of high-rises in Songdo, billed as the world's "smartest" city.
    Life

    Sleepy in Songdo, Korea’s Smartest City

    The hardest thing about living in an eco-friendly master-planned utopia? Meeting your neighbors.  

  5. Charts

    The Evolution of Urban Planning in 10 Diagrams

    A new exhibit from the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association showcases the simple visualizations of complex ideas that have changed how we live.

×