Amber afterglow with crepuscular rays, September 1885.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
One of a series of sketches by William Ascroft, documenting the meteorological effects of the eruption of Krakatoa, Indonesia. On 27 August 1883, the volcano on the island of Krakatoa erupted in a massive explosion, throwing large quantities of ash and dust high into the atmosphere, producing spectacular sunsets and afterglows around the world. Volcanic dust also has a more serious impact on the world's climate. Because it blocks a proportion of the incoming solar radiation, temperatures on the Earth's surface are reduced. After the Krakatoa eruption, several years of poor summers and harsh winters followed as a result of this effect. Ascroft recorded optical phenomena attributed to the after-effects of the eruption until 1886.