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Why the sky was purple over Nailsworth last night

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Like a movie scene from War of Worlds, Jo Regan captured this ‘apocalyptic’ pink cloud over Forest Green last night.

Many in Nailsworth stood back open-mouthed as the purple sky covered the top of the hill near Forest Green Rovers.

One resident said: “I was driving down the Nailsworth W and thought it was a fire at first, but I was amazed as I reached the top of Forest Green to see such a spectacular sight.”

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Purple sky Pic: Jo Regan

Jo, who photographed these stunning images, said: “An interesting sky tonight. My app says not Northern Lights, but sure is pretty though.”

The sky gets its colouring thanks to a phenomenon called Rayleigh scattering. This means that when wavenlengths of light come into contact with particles — even tiny, microscopic ones — in the atmosphere, they scatter in different directions. This scattering effectively spreads the light. If the light has a visible colour, that colour then becomes more noticeable.

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