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Why is the Night Sky Always Bright During a Snowstorm

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by WillG, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. WillG

    WillG Well-Known Member

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    Anyone ever notice that the night sky is always seems bright when it is snowing out. Sometimes it looks almost purple. I always thought that maybe it was because light reflected off of ice and snow in the sky. But I really have no idea. Anyone know?
     
  2. Dennis*G

    Dennis*G Well-Known Member

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    Yep, that's the reason. The light is being reflected off the snow falling, and the ground. Now if you are in the country it's just as dark as if it was not snowing as there is no light to relect.

    I love snow at 2am and you can look out and it's as bright as a cloudy day.
     
  3. WillG

    WillG Well-Known Member

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    Uhhh huh huh huh ....I'm smart......or something....uhh huh huh
     
  4. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Well-Known Member

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    Unless there's a full moon. A snowy night with a full moon in the country is nearly as bright as one in a city is.
    On the other hand, nothing I have seen quite compares to seeing clouds at 3 am in Boston when it's snowy.
     
  5. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Well-Known Member

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    They just built a car dealership about a half-mile from my house, with all the insane lot lights illuminated every night. Our night-time "snow sky" is brighter than a normal summer day !
     
  6. Jay H

    Jay H Well-Known Member

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    When I'm winter hiking or skiing, it is quite common to be able to navigate and hike on a clear night with snow on the ground simply by moonlight. And it typically doesn't even require a full moon, however, a full moon winter hike at night is absolutely magical. No need for a headlamp and it is my favorite season for hiking.

    Jay
     
  7. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Well-Known Member

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    Yeah - I noticed this last night while letting the dog out at about 10 pm. Snowing and very bright out!!
     
  8. vergey

    vergey New Member

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    Yep thanks for the information! I was wondering why it's 3:30 am and the sky is orange and bright
     
  9. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    All right. I'll ask my dumb question--as I am reminded of it by this resurrected thread. Why, on certain evenings, usually at dusk, does the moon look so gigantically HUGE just above the horizon and then later on in the evening it looks to be its normal small size? I always figure its got something to do with the amount of atmosphere you are seeing it through when it is closer to the horizon line...but it has always been a wonder. One time, my wife and I were driving down Route 7 in Vermont and pulled over to take some pictures of the moon rising over the Green Mountains. The thing was a beautiful orange color and I had never seen it larger. It was freakishly large (like it was hurtling towards Earth!). I took out my 35mm film SLR and took a number of pictures of this gorgeous site. I was really anticipating these pictures of these gorgeous landscapes underneath the giant unnaturally colored moon. Days later when I got the film back I was never more disappointed. While the pictures were still nice, the moon--on film--looked extraordinarily normal (and small). Major bummer.
     
  10. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Well-Known Member

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    Why does the moon look bigger? Nobody knows for sure! /cue creepy theramin music http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_illusion When it last snowed at my old house, I got that disturbing "snow flash," where a bright flash went off in my vision that night. Not sure what that's called.
     
  11. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Cool link, Greg. Thanks. Must remember that there's a wiki page for nearly everything.
    I am, however, frankly amazed that there aren't people who know the answer to my question. C'mon... There's got to be a simple scientific explanation. At least you would think so, right?!?
     
  12. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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