La Panne Sunset and Glitter Path

November 29, 2007


Provided by: Thierry Lombry, LUXORION
Summary authors & editors: Thierry Lombry

The photo above shows a peach colored sky and glitter path as seen at La Panne, Belgium, along the extreme western part of the Belgian coast. It was taken on July 21, 2006 at 19:30 GMT, about 15 minutes prior to sundown. During the day, temperatures on shore exceeded 30 degrees C (about 86 degrees F) -- a superb day at the beach.

I was on my way home when I noticed this alluring sky and seascape. This was the first time that I had ever observed such a magnificent sunset from the Belgian shore. I had always imagined that such a vivid sky could only be seen from the tropics. Despite the latitude (50 degrees north), this tropical scene only lacked swaying palm trees. The colors shown here are natural and haven't been enhanced.

A glitter path or patch results from numerous reflections of sunlight off of waves and wavelets -- each reflection is a miniature of the Sun's disk.