Skies over an Indonesian province turned red over the weekend, thanks to the widespread forest fires which have plagued huge parts of the country.


One resident in Jambi province, who captured pictures of the sky, said the haze had "hurt her eyes and throat".


Every year, fires in Indonesia create a smoky haze that can end up blanketing the entire South East Asian region.


A meteorology expert told the BBC the unusual sky was caused by a phenomenon known as Rayleigh scattering.


Eka Wulandari, from the Mekar Sari village in Jambi province, captured the blood-red skies in a series of photos taken at around midday on Saturday.

占碑省梅卡尔萨里村的Eka Wulandari在周六中午时分拍摄到了一系列血红色天空的照片。

The haze conditions had been especially "thick that [day]", she said.


The 21-year-old posted the pictures on Facebook. They have since been shared more than 34,000 times.


But she told BBC Indonesian that many online had doubted whether or not the photos were real.


"But it's true. [It's a] real photo and video that I took with my phone," she said, adding that haze conditions remained severe on Monday.


Another Twitter user posted a video showing similarly coloured skies.


"This is not Mars. This is Jambi," said user Zuni Shofi Yatun Nisa. "We humans need clean air, not smoke."

推特用户Zuni Shofi Yatun Nisa说:“这不是火星,是占碑。我们人类需要清新的空气,不要烟。”

Indonesia meteorological agency BMKG said satellite imagery revealed numerous hot spots and "thick smoke distribution" in the area around the Jambi region.


Associate Professor Koh Tieh Yong, of the Singapore University of Social Sciences, explained that this phenomenon, known as Rayleigh scattering, has to do with certain types of particles that are present during a period of haze.

新跃社科大学副教授Koh Tieh Yong解释说这种被称为瑞利散射的现象与雾霾中存在的某些类型的粒子有关。

"In the smoke haze, the most abundant particles are around 1 micrometre in size, but these particles do not change the colour of the light we see," he told the BBC.


"There are also smaller particles, around 0.05 micrometres or less, that don't make up a lot of the haze but are still somewhat more abundant during a haze period [than a normal non-haze period]... but this is enough to give an extra tendency to scatter red light more in the forward and backward directions than blue light - and that is why would you see more red than blue."