Anticrepuscular Rays Near Stuttgart, Germany

September 14, 2010

Photographer: Michael Grossmann
Summary Author: Michael Grossmann; Jim Foster

The photo above features an array of anticrepuscular rays as observed near Stuttgart, Germany on July 31, 2010. I will never forget this sight. Sunset was fast approaching, and I first noticed faint crepuscular rays above the western horizon. Just after sundown, the rays could be seen stretching across the sky from west to east. On this photo montage, east is at left center and west at far right. This amazing display lasted for about ten glorious minutes. To add to the show, the rosy glow of Earth's rising shadow (Belt of Venus) and the shadow band itself were visible just above the eastern horizon (left center). These anticrepuscular and crepuscular rays were cast by clouds below the western horizon. Viewing perspective makes the rays seem to converge toward the horizon; though, they're actually parallel.

Photo details: Nikon D40x camera; 16 pictures in vertical-order; focus length 18 mm; F/3.5; 1/60 second exposure time; ISO 100.