Saturday, 16 May 2009

The other side of a sunset

Most of the tourists that visit the summit of Mauna Kea each evening congregate at a couple of spots that offer a great view of the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean. The view is amazing but sometimes the scene to the east can be even more stunning; that's where the shadow of Mauna Kea appears.

The other day I posted a picture of the shadow and anticrepuscular rays you can see when looking 180-degrees away from the sunset, but it was only a subset of the pictures I took. Although the main impact of the picture was the shadow and rays, I also wanted to include the cinder cones that were half in shadow and half in sunlight, so here they are.

In a place like Hawai`i the seasons tend to blend together and it's not always obvious when it's summer or winter, especially to someone visiting the islands. If you live here long enough though you can tell! On the other hand, another way to check that we really do have seasons is to see where the sun sets throughout the year - or check where its shadow lies.

This is the shadow and rays in January. Despite all the gloomy financial and politcal news recently, it's reassuring that the Earth just keeps plodding along in its orbit around the sun just as it's done for billions of years.

1 comment:

Protege said...

Love the last sentence; sometimes I feel that way when just looking at the tress outside my window. No matter what goes on in my life, they seem to just be there. It gives me peace.