Saturday, August 14, 2010

"Anticrepuscular Rays"

Some of you may recall that one evening during the race we saw some beautiful rays of light coming up into the sky from the setting sun.  (The photo is actually of a similar very pretty sunset taken during the delivery.)

But the really interesting thing about the sunset we saw during the race was that there were similar rays of light coming up from the horizion in the opposite direction (away from the sun).

This is hard to see in the photo, but it was perfectly clear with the naked eye. I said that I would submit it to the Q & A section of the "New Scientist" (a popular science magazine that I get), but I've been dragging my feet and probably would never have gotten around to doing it.

However, just by accident I came across the explanation in an old APOD.
As you know, “Chance favors the prepared mind”—Louis Pasteur.
So check it out.

What we saw were "Anticrepuscular Rays"

I had similar good fortune in 2007 when we saw a white rainbow. Not too much later the explanation showed up in an APOD.

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