Thursday, 14 May 2009

Anticrepuscular rays

Taken shortly before this evening's sunset at the summit of Mauna Kea. Little snow remains now, but we still get some spectacular views. This is a picture of the shadow of Mauna Kea and above it anticrepuscular rays. These are the same things as those sun rays you see through clouds on occasion but on the opposite part of the sky (they converge at the anti-solar point, 180 degrees from the sun itself). The rays are actually parallel, but they're projected onto the sky and follow great circles, so appear to converge.

PS. Happy Birthday Mum!


Andrew Cooper said...

Makes me sorry I left the summit before sunset!

Protege said...

Wow, I have never seen anything like this. Stunning natural phenomenon. Beautiful! Almost spiritual.

Tom said...

Andrew - it really was a beautiful sunset! Sorry you missed it although I'm sure the view driving down must have been nice.

Protege - if you have a clear horizon to the west these aren't so difficult to see at sunset - as long as there's some clouds close to the sun! You need gaps in the clouds to form the rays in the first place.

mirmilant said...

Fantastic Tom - really cool. Obviously, I need to get observing on UKIRT again!