Why rain can make the sunrise and sunset burn more brightly

From hot pink sunrises to burning orange sunsets, Tasmanians have been witnessing a light show like no other lately — and it is all thanks to a little help from some rain.

The colours in sunrises and sunsets are caused by the light from the Sun being scattered through the atmosphere.

Meteorologist Rachel McInerney from the weather bureau (BoM) explains that as sunlight comes through at a lower angle through the atmosphere, the blue colour in the light spectrum gets weaker and weaker.

"Light is made up of different wavelengths ... and as the light of the Sun passes through our atmosphere we get what's called scattering of those light particles," she said.

"During the day, when the Sun is more vertical above us, we have less scattering.

"In the evenings and in the mornings when the Sun is at a lower angle it has to go through a larger distance of the atmosphere.

"That means a lot more of the blue light gets scattered out and we get a lot more of the pinks and reds on the rainbow spectrum."

In winter in Tasmania, bright sunsets and sunrises are slightly more common and that is because of the extra rain.

"In the winter we see cold fronts move through more regularly than we would in summer," Ms McInerney said.

"With that we have more potential for rainfall to rain out any particles in the atmosphere ... we more regularly have a clearer atmosphere near the surface and that will lead to more bright sunrises and sunsets.

"Probably one of the main impacts in terms of the clarity and the brightness of a sunrise or sunset is actually the clearness or cleanness of the air."

Tasmania's clean air makes the Sun feel harsher in summer than it really is and it also gives us brighter, more intense sunsets.

"If there's lots of particles in the atmosphere, like dust or haze, it will dull the colours," Ms McInerney said.

But while a sunset might be less intense in colour, a hazy day can still give you a good show in the sky.

"The other thing you can get is if you have smoke very high in the atmosphere, once the Sun has set, that can lead to more of an afterglow to the sunset," Ms McInerney said.

"That nice afterglow can be quite beautiful."