06/10/2015 03:29 EDT | Updated 06/10/2015 03:59 EDT

Smoky Red Sunset In U.S. Blamed On Canadian Wildfires

Some Americans may be forgiven for thinking they live on Tatooine when they watch the sun set in parts of the country these days.

Areas in the Midwest and East have been blanketed in a haze of smoke from a series of wildfires blazing in Canadian provinces including British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories, The Weather Network reported.

The jet stream has blown smoke from the fires south into the U.S., leading to "moderate" air quality in the state of Maryland, according to AirNow and The Washington Post.

The smoke is sitting high in the atmosphere, at an altitude at which it can't be smelled, said USA Today. But it also helped to create some spectacular sunsets from seen from Minnesota to the nation's capital.

sun haze dc

Sunset over Washington, D.C. Image via Richard Barnhill.

The sun appears this way because its light has to travel through a smokier atmosphere, said The Weather Channel.

Air molecules spread blue and green waves of light, leaving only the red, yellow and orange hues in the sky through a heavier atmosphere. It's an effect that makes the sun look like it's shining down on Luke Skywalker and the Jawas.

Here are some photos people shared of the sun behind a haze of smoke throughout the U.S.:

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