Anticrepuscular Rays Above Sparta, Greece

January 02, 2014

SpartaanticrepIMG_1200 x (2)

Photographer: P.Nikolakakos
Summary Authors: P.Nikolakakos; Jim Foster

The attention-getting rays featured above were observed near Sparta, Greece, on the evening of November 15, 2013. Because the waxing gibbous Moon is visible here we know that we're seeing anticrepuscular rays -- the camera is facing east. Anticrepuscular rays actually result from sunlight streaming through gaps in clouds on the opposite side of the sky. When the sky is clear these rays may be projected all the way across the sky. On occasion, anticrepuscular rays are more easily detected than are their sun-side siblings (crepuscular rays), as was the case this fall day. Perspective makes the rays appear to converge toward the horizon, like standing on railroad tracks and looking down-track in both directions. Viewed from high above, the rays would be seen to be parallel.

Photo details: Camera Model: Canon EOS 7D; Lens: EF-S18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS; Focal Length: 18mm; Focus Distance: 26.4m; Aperture: f/3.5; Exposure Time: 0.0050 s (1/200); ISO equiv: 400.