Crepuscular Rays Over Bakersfield, California

November 10, 2013

BakersfieldCrepsIMG_20130910_184843 (2)

Photographer: Debbie Taylor
Summary Authors: Debbie Taylor; Jim Foster

The photo above shows a splendid set of crepuscular rays observed near sunset from Bakersfield, California. They stretched all of the way across the sky, appearing behind the camera as anticrepuscular rays. When these rays are detected it’s because dust, aerosols and/or water droplets in the atmosphere scatter sunlight -– making them visible to us. Areas blocked by clouds (by mountain peaks in some cases) are dark by contrast. Note that here two different lines of clouds (one just above the horizon and one a little higher) result in two different sets of rays. Photo taken in mid September, 2013.