Scripps Pier Sunset
February 06, 2003
Three distinct cloud layers are present in this image of sunset over the Pacific Ocean. The lowest is the marine layer, which typically manifests within the first few hundred feet of atmosphere; nighttime hangs close under its eaves. As evening advances the marine layer will creep onshore and swath the land in fog. The uppermost layer of altostratus clouds is distant and still fully illuminated by the sun. The middle layer of scattered dissipating cumulus is in transition, being brushed by the last few rays of setting sun. Scripps Pier stands in the foreground, part of the University of California San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography.