Mysterious pink sky baffles residents of Iqaluit, Nunavut

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What about this mysterious pink sky? The sky of Iqaluit, Nunavut mysteriously turned rose on January 13, 2016 afternoon.

So why the strange rose hue in this arctic city in Canada?  Residents are baffled.

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This strange pink sky engulfed Iqaluit on January 13 2016. Photo: Nick Murray / CBC

Here some of the theories from Social medias. Did Ziggy Stardust just flew by? Or could it be because of bad sunglasses? However, the likely answer for the strange colouration isn’t related to pop icons, or eyewear but, it’s rooted in how light reacts with the atmosphere.

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Another unfiltered picture of the pink colouring sky over Iqaluit on January 13 2016. Photo: Sima Sahar Zerehi / CBC

Iqaluit’s red sky is likely a result of light scattering, where sunlight is reflected through particles in the atmosphere. The colouring was also likely intensified by the time of day the photo was taken — near sunset — when the sun is lower in the sky.

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Before and after picture by Nick Murray / CBC

When the sun is at a low angle in the sky, the light has a longer distance to travel. The blue gets removed by the ice crystals and salt in the air, which leaves red visible.

The clouds are much larger than light waves, which allows them to take on the colour, in this case pink.

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