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The reason behind those vibrant sunsets

The sun sets over Little Seidl Lake in Kewaunee County Nov. 27, 2017. (Photo submitted by Nick Titel)

(WLUK) -- In recent days, the evening sunset has illuminated the sky with vibrant colors in Northeast Wisconsin.

There's a few reasons why we've been able to see such nice sunsets and sunrises lately.

The two biggest reasons for seeing these brilliant colors have been the sun angle and the type of cloud cover.

The sun is always moving across the sky at the same speed throughout the year.

During the summer, it departs and approaches the horizon from a steeper angle, since it's reaching higher in the sky.

During the winter, that angle is much lower, with the sun not reaching as high in the sky.

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and so you can see that the sun sets for a longer time than in the summer.

Since the sunsets are quicker in the summer, it's easier to miss the best sunsets, whereas in the winter you have more of a chance to actually see them.

When it comes to the clouds, we've gotten lucky.

We've had several mornings and evenings with mid and high level clouds that the sun can drop below as it approaches the horizon.

When this happens, the clouds become illuminated from below.

And as the sun turns shades of orange and deep red lower in the sky, those colors are reflected on the bottoms of the clouds.

The deep purples are actually shadows on the cloud bottoms.

Put it all together, and that's why we're able to see such brilliant color this time of year.

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