Purple skies over Ireland: aftermath of Kuril volcano eruption

The weakening Tropical Storm Lorenzo swept past Ireland and hit it with strong, gusty winds and heavy rains. However, when the sky cleared on the evening of October 3, it was not blue. According to John Murphy from Cork, who took this image, the wind and rain gave way to a purple sunset.
But Hurricane Lorenzo didn’t cause the purple sunset. The Raikoke volcano located in Russia’s Kuril islands did. Raikoke erupted on June 22, and volcanic gases rose high into the stratosphere. And they are still there. One of those plumes appears to have followed Lorenzo through Ireland on October 3, causing the strangely colored sunset.
Why purple? Volcanic gases in the stratosphere scatter blue light, which when mixed with the usual sunset red becomes purple. A few months after Raikoke erupted, observers around the world still see purple skies when its emissions float by. 


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