Anticrepuscular Rays


We've all seen crepuscular rays, those dramatic beams of light and shadow which seem to radiate from the sun through the intervening clouds. These cloud shadows are actually parallel rays -- perspective makes them seem to converge on the sun. These rays sometimes cross the entire sky and re-converge on the antisolar point as seen in this photo. But these anticrepuscular rays are much fainter and much less frequently noticed than crepuscular rays; a distinct display like this one requires just the right amount of scattering particulates in the atmosphere. In this photo the rays pass in front of a gibbous moon.

Date: September 3, 2006
Time: 7:05 p.m. MST
Location: Coconino National Forest, Arizona
Camera: Olympus OM-1 35mm SLR on fixed tripod
Film: Fuji Provia 100 slide
Focal length: 24 mm
Aperture: f/4
Exposure time: 1/8 second
Scanner: Nikon Coolscan LS-2000

Revised: October 21, 2006
Copyright © 2006 Joe Orman
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