Purple Skies observed Dallas, TX on October 27, 2019.

Purple skies during sunsets and sunrises (blog explaining science) have been observed by our GLOBE participants! Thank you to all those sending in their observations and participating of the Fall Clouds Challenge


Educator Angie Rizzi, part of the Science Education team at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, created this lesson for teachers who want to use this event to talk about aerosols and sky color. The activity incorporates the Elementary GLOBE Sky Observers activity with photographs of the observed purple skies. 


The activity is available as a Word document or as a PDF file. Below is a short description of the activity:


  • To engage students in active observation and recording skills.
  • To help students observe sky color, recognize that sky color changes.


This is an extension of the Elementary GLOBE Sky Observers learning activity. The full learning activity can be found on the GLOBE website under the Elementary GLOBE Air Quality module.

This extension allows students to practice recording observations and comparing their observations to discuss the differences between them. They will make an observation of their own to compare it with these images as well.

In September and October of 2019, there have been sightings of purple sunsets. This activity uses the Sky Observers Sunset Sky Report from the Elementary GLOBE Sky Observers activity with images of these sunsets to practice their observation and recording skills.

Student Outcomes

  • Students will make observations of the sky, record their findings and share their observation reports with their peers.
  • Students will also record observations of photographic images of the sky and share their observation recordings with their peers.
  • Students will discuss the differences in sky color and the conditions that can lead to the colors in the photos.


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