The beautiful coloring in this cloudscape/seascape sunrise photograph is not simply oblique sunlight. The bronze hue is caused by dust particles in the atmosphere from a dust storm in west Africa. The photograph was taken over the Atlantic several hundreds of miles from the source of the dust storm. Various forms of pollution can be responsible for coloration in the atmosphere. They range from industrial pollutants, which may yield shades of blue and mauve, to volcanic ash clouds, which can give an unnaturally rich red glow to sunset skies. The colors are sometimes beautiful, but the associated gases and particles can have significant environmental and health impacts, and they may lead to temporary or even long-term climatic change.
51-G, June 1985. Picture #25-44-092.