Mount Rainier Ray and Sunrise

January 13, 2010


Photographer: Sally Budack
Summary Author: Sally Budack: Jim Foster

January 2010 Earth Science Picture of the Day Viewer's Choice

The photo above showing a singular crepuscular ray stretching across a rosy winter's dawn was captured from Tacoma, Washington on December 27, 2009. The Sun was positioned directly behind Mt. Rainier on this morning allowing the purple mountain's majesty and its triangular shaped shadow to enhance the crimson sunup. Crepuscular rays, also referred to as Rays of Buddha and Ropes of Maui, form when sunlight is blocked by towering clouds or by mountain tops. Airborne dust, aerosols and air molecules themselves all scatter sunlight in such a way to make the rays visible.

Mt. Rainier coordinates: 46.852778, -121.760278

Earth Observatory: Mt. Rainier

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