The vibrant colors in the sky at sunset are mostly the result of selective scattering of sunlight through the atmosphere. The color we see in the sky at a given point during the day depends on how far sunlight must travel. When the sun is higher, colors like blue and violet with shorter wavelengths are easily scattered by air molecules into our line of sight, making the sky blue. At sunset, however, the sun is lower on the horizon and its light must pass through more air before reaching us. This longer distance for the light to travel results in only colors with long wavelengths, like yellow, orange and red, reaching our eyes.
Twilight hues are also influenced by clouds, volcanic eruptions and air pollution.
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