Now that fall has set upon us, temperatures are dropping and the days are getting shorter. You may also notice that autumn provides some of the most spectacular sunsets of the year that are filled with vivid reds, pinks, and oranges. The tilt of the Earth on its axis means that the sun’s light reaches us less directly, passing through more atmosphere. As blue light has a shorter wavelength, it is more easily scattered away, while the reds and oranges power on through to reach our eyes.
Every colour of light affects our mood and psychology. Our circadian rhythm (body clock) is impacted by exposure to the full spectrum of colours. So, in addition to being visually pleasing, the red light of sunset followed by darkness has been shown to improve peoples’ moods.
We should also note that the sun’s rays present some risk to our eyes in the time before dusk. In the daytime when the sun is high overhead, it’s harder for UV rays to reach the depths of the eye. The structure of our skull protects the eyes by recessing them, the overhanging brow blocking most of the sun’s rays. By sunset, the lower position of the sun allows UV rays to enter our eyes at a more direct angle.
Corneal sunburn may also result from watching sunsets, causing a scratchy feeling in the eye or tears several hours after sun exposure. Because of this, it is a good idea to wear 100% UV ray protected sunglasses when taking in a beautiful sunset. Early birds should note that everything about autumn sunsets also applies to sunrises.
We hope that everybody can take in the beauty of our autumn sun. To find the perfect pair of shades to protect your eyes this fall, check out our wide selection of sunglasses.