'Chromatics of the sky', 27 October 1883.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Chalk and crayon sketch by J S Dyason showing sunrise at 8:00 am, 27 October 1883. On 27 August 1883, the volcano on the island of Krakatoa erupted in a masive explosion, throwing large quantities of ash and dust high into the atmosphere, producing spectacular sunrises and sunsets 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. The optical effects in the atmosphere could still be seen in 1886.