Smoky Rays

December 03, 2004


Provided and copyright by: Peg Zenko
Summary authors & editors: Peg Zenko

On the photo above, taken in early October of 2004, mountain-high crepuscular rays span Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada. These rays were created by sunlight slanting across smoke plumes that were rolling over the peaks of the Canadian Rockies in British Columbia. Most of the time we see rays overhead, but they can also occur closer to the ground, and go toward and around us. This photo is remarkable in that we can actually see the rays and shadows (light and dark bands) parallel to each other, as they really occur. Normally, when we observe crepuscular rays "head on," they appear to radiate (converge or diverge) due to perspective effects.

The photo was taken from Whistler's Mountain at an elevation of 7,472 ft (2,277 m) above sea level, overlooking the town of Jasper.

Related Links: