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Look for some amazing September sunset skies over Arizona

(Public Domain Image)

With the arrival of September and the soon to be end of the monsoon season, look for some amazing colorful sunsets.

These are not just your average amazing Arizona sunsets, but there may be an additional element in the mix, with recent volcanic eruptions around the world.

Many people are noticing the extra bonus of volcanic dust, giving way to some incredible purple colored sunsets.

The additional purple colorization may be due to two distinct and recent volcanic events.

The first culprit is the recent eruption of the Raikoke volcano, located in the Kuril Island in the far northern Pacific.

This powerhouse of a volcano, along with a second eruption with the Ulawun volcano, within the island chain of New Guinea, are helping to push amazing amounts of volcanic dust into the stratosphere.

Here are some images of the two volcanoes:

Raikoke volcano (NASA Photo)

Ulawunin Papua New Guinea (AP Photo)

With all this recent volcanic dust in the atmosphere, the best times to look and capture some images is facing the western sky around 20 minutes after sunset and 20 minutes before sunrise, as the particles of dust put on their best show.

Here is an image of what the sky can look like with the addition of volcanic dust in the atmosphere:

(National Weather Service Photo)

On another note, there is another phenomenon that may be worth looking at too.

That is the amazing Green Flash, which is seen, on occasion, as the top edge of the sun dips below the horizon.

This elusive flash is due to the refraction of sunlight, combined with a thick atmosphere at the horizon.

You will need a clear and unobstructed view of the western sky to attempt to view the Green Flash.

The Green Flash was made popular by Jules Verne in his classic 1882 novel, “The Green Ray.”

Those of you that have decent camera gear may want to try to photograph the flash, but be advised that proper eye protection is in order, before the top limb of the sun dips below the horizon.

Here is what the Green Flash looks like:

To print your own monthly star chart, click here.

To view satellites/dates/times of passage, click here.

Listen to the Dr. Sky Show on KTAR News 92.3 FM every Saturday morning at 3 a.m.

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