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Kansas Sunset Sky imaged by Doug Zubenel late August '08. Image ©Doug Zubenel, shown with permission.

Volcanoes loft vast tonnages of finely divided ash and sulfur oxide gases into the stratosphere. The sulfur gases subsequently produce aerosol particles.

North America has seen vivid sunset and twilight skies in August. They are probably caused by material from the eruptions of three stratovolcanoes including Kasatochi in the Aleutian Islands.

The high altitude dust and aerosol scatters sunlight to give glorious sunsets, rays and Bishop's rings.