Sunset Differences ~ Neon Northern Verses Soothing Southern

As Ticket to Ride takes us jaunting to different parts of the world, we find unique aspects about each place we visit.  However, regardless of where we are, we consistently celebrate the sunset each evening. When living on land we rarely saw the sunset; often we were busy with tasks and didn’t even realize the sun had faded until we needed to turn on lights inside the house.

Living on TTR, we have a 360° view of our horizon and it is hard to miss the daily sky painting as the sun disappears.  Moreover, we salute as many sunsets as we can and intentionally pause to appreciate their beauty and offer thanks for what the day has brought. Often this means sitting on the front deck or pausing dinner preparations to sit on the back steps to observe the process.

Sunset near Alamitos Bay, California.

Having spent most of my life north of the equator, I assumed that sunsets around the world would be the same. While the setting of the sun is the same process, the colors I perceive here in the South Pacific have been different from those I was accustomed to seeing.

Vibrant yellows, pinks and oranges in the Sea of Cortez, MX.

I love the vibrant oranges and pinks typical of the sunsets I saw north of the equator. Watching the colors develop and become more florescent as they twine into a collage feels new every evening

Here in the south pacific, I am surprised by how different the colors of sunset appear. If I had to use one word to describe the sunsets here in French Polynesia, I would use “pearlescent.”

There is a creamy quality to the beginning of this sunset in the Marquesas, French Polynesia.

Instead of brilliant pinks and oranges, the colors of the sky seem to have a pearly base to them.  We see more whites and creams that become softer hues like lilac or cotton candy pink.  

Pastel lilacs and pinks in Taiohae Bay, Nuku Hiva.

Eventually the colors arrange themselves into horizontal lines of color. Later in the painting process, rows of color similar to those of a rainbow develop. Here it seems like the colors stay more in delineated rows rather than intermingling.

Rows of color are beginning to form in this French Polynesian sunset.

For me the greatest difference in the northern verses southern sunsets occurs at the beginning when the opalescent quality of the south is most obvious and the colors are much softer.   

Deeper colors that mix together in this sunset along the western side of the Baja Peninsula.

The vivacity of the northern sunsets with intertwined, jewel tone colors is gorgeous and often feels like they are bursting with energy. Here in French Polynesia, the sunsets feel more calming with their gentle colors and organized lines.

Just another beautiful sunset in the Marquesas.

In reading about the coral reefs here, we have learned that carbon dioxide emissions may be a factor in the different appearance of the sunsets here in the southern hemisphere. Having less carbon dioxide in the air here might be influencing the appearance of these sunsets.

Not everyone will agree with these differences between the northern verses southern sunsets, but to my eyes, the differentiation is obvious and beautiful to recognize.  I only wish I could capture the difference between them more accurately in my photographs. 

Can you see any distinction based on these photos or have you observed the same variances when you visited the two hemispheres? We would love to hear your opinion in the comments.

Thanks so much for reading our blog. We hope these sunset photos bring a smile to your face. Wishing you good health and fun adventures.  

3 thoughts on “Sunset Differences ~ Neon Northern Verses Soothing Southern

  1. Hello, happy to read your latest. I do not remember noting the difference in sunsets but I’ll see if i can find some of our photos from FP and compare, interesting. I know I did not notice a difference in Hawaii but that’s still above equator. hmmmm

    Liked by 1 person

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