Magenta Rays

May 01, 2008


Provided by: Geir T. Øye
Summary authors & editors: Geir T. Øye, Jim Foster 

The photo above shows a view of majestic magenta and violet crepuscular rays slicing the sky above the silhouetted mountain range in the foreground. They were observed a little before midnight on the evening of July 17, 2007, from Ørsta, Norway. During mid-summer in Norway, the Sun sets after 10:00 p.m. local time. These rays were formed not by the mountain but rather by clouds positioned near the western horizon. Crepuscular rays result when clouds cast their shadows in the air. The darkened lanes, violet rays in this instance, are due to cloud shadows. See also yesterday's Earth Science Picture of the Day.