Lunar Crepuscular Rays

November 24, 2008

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Photographer: Mila Zinkova, Fogshadow
Summary Author: Jim Foster, Mila Zinkova

In late May of 2008 my husband and I hiked to the Lower Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park, California. It was one night past the full Moon so we were able to clearly follow the trails by moonlight.  As we returned to camp, I noticed the rays of light shown above. Lunar crepuscular rays, as well as crepuscular rays that are observed most often near sunset or sunrise, result when sunlight or moonlight is partially obscured by objects such as mountain ranges or by clouds near the viewers’ horizon. These silvery shafts formed when moonlight, being blocked by local ridges and rocks and even by tall trees, oozed through the topography in Yosemite. Photo taken on May 21, 2008 near 2:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time.