Anticrepuscular Rays and Glory

January 09, 2009


Photographer: Tim Stone
Summary Author: Tim Stone

On a flight to southwestern Tennessee this past summer, the positioning of the clouds and Sun treated me to views of anticrepuscular rays as well as to a gorgeous glory, which was nearly continuous during the duration of the flight. The anticrepuscular rays were visible against the ground from above, which is somewhat of a unique perspective. If you're on the ground, anticrepuscular rays can generally only be seen after sunset. From above the clouds, however, they can be observed before sunset. An interesting point to note is that the anticrepuscular rays seem to converge at the very center of the glory; the anti-solar point. In fact, geometrically, they do exactly that. In reality, though, they don't converge at all. They're essentially parallel to the line between my camera lens and the center of the glory. Additionally, the rays intersect the Earth's surface long before even the illusion of their convergence can be realized. To someone on the ground, the same rays would appear to be diverging -- radiating outward from the Sun. Photo taken on July 11, 2008 somewhere over the Kentucky/Tennessee border.