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24 October 2007 @ 01:05 pm
Okay, that's fricking weird.

This morning about 10, 10:15 am, the sky was a very light but very obvious hazy shade of orange. (But the leaves are still green =)

At noon it was maybe still a little orange, but a lot less so. I decided to go to Subway for lunch and while i was walking along i started thinking "something looks very odd, but i can't figure out what." Finally after about half a block (well, about half a mini-block) i realized that all the shadows were _blue_! Not very strongly so, but clearly noticeable when i started looking. Presumably they're not actually blue, they just seem that way in comparison to the light, which is still orange even if i'm not noticing it anymore?

It looks like most of the haze is to the east and south, and you can actually see some blue sky to the north, so if it is smoke in the air it's presumably from the Irvine fire i guess?
Kirinkirinn on October 24th, 2007 08:49 pm (UTC)
Hah, cool. Yeah, orange is pretty much opposite blue in the color spectrum, so it makes some sense. It's pretty nifty that your brain basically rotated your whole color space in order to make the sky conform to a more "normal" shade of blue or something.

Although, the odd thing is, you can get similar effects with, say, orange-tinted ski goggles or something, but normally it's only obvious right *after* you take them off. Maybe the ambient light was in the process of changing? Dunno.
DonAithnendonaithnen on October 25th, 2007 12:45 am (UTC)
Well if we're right about the mechanism the orange goggles thing would make sense. But your eyes adapt pretty quickly, so it wouldn't last long once the goggles were gone.

In my case i'm guessing the main source of the orange light was the sun shining through the smoke. The shadows had the orange light blocked out and were lit up only by the ambient light which was probably of a more normal hue after scattering off of everything else. My eyes were adapted for the direct orange light so the whiter ambient light looked blue.

You could probably duplicate the same thing by taking a pair of orange goggles and cutting a small hole in them. Your eyes would stay adapted to the orange and whatever you could see through the small hole would look blue.
Andrewneonelephant on October 25th, 2007 12:34 am (UTC)
The light was still pretty noticeably orange for me when I walked out to my car at lunch, although I think I'd tuned it out or it had changed by the time I got back. Don't think I noticed any blue shadows, though.