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Anti-crepuscular Rays

By: Juan Carlos Casado

 

Region: Europe

Site: Tenerife - Spain

Date: December 2008

The panoramic view shows the twilight sky from Altavista's refuge (3.270 m altitude) located on the way to the top of Teide volcano, Canary Islands. In the first plane the basaltic rocks of the surroundings of refuge can be seen. On the profile of the mountain placed in the center of the image is possible to perceive the domes of Teide Observatory as brilliant points, and to the right one can see the Grand Canary island. Anticrepuscular rays are similar to crepuscular rays, but seen opposite the sun in the sky. Sunlight travels in straight lines, but the projections of these lines on Earth's spherical atmosphere are great circles. Hence, straight-line crepuscular rays from a setting (or rising) sun can appear to re-converge at the antisolar point. Anticrepuscular rays are most frequently visible near sunrise or sunset. Crepuscular rays are usually much brighter than anticrepuscular rays. This is because for crepuscular rays, seen on the same side of the sky as the sun, the atmospheric light scattering and making them visible is taking place at small angles.
Anticrepuscular rays are similar to crepuscular rays, but seen opposite the sun in the sky. Sunlight travels in straight lines, but the projections of these lines on Earth's spherical atmosphere are great circles. Hence, straight-line crepuscular rays from a setting (or rising) sun can appear to re-converge at the antisolar point. Anticrepuscular rays are most frequently visible near sunrise or sunset. Although these rays appear to converge onto a point opposite the sun, the convergence is actually an illusion. The rays are in fact parallel, and the apparent convergence is to the vanishing point at infinity. Juan Carlos Casado/Starryearth.com

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