Singular Shadow at Sunset

May 15, 2020

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Photographer: Kostas Vasilopoulos 
Summary Authors: Kostas Vasilopoulos; Jim Foster

On occasion, it’s not the reddened color of the sky that makes a sunrise or sunset particularly memorable, rather it’s the wedge-shaped shadows and rays of sunlight that gather our attention. This lone shadow (crepuscular ray) in a cloudless sky was observed from Patras, Greece, on March 23, 2020. Since rays, such as this one, converge where the Sun is setting, it’s pretty clear that the object blocking the sunlight is the broad mountain top in the background. However, in order for crepuscular rays to be visible, there must be sufficient dust particles in the air to scatter sunlight. Otherwise, they pass overhead undetected.

Photo Details: Nikon d3400 Tokina camera; 11-16 mm lens; ISO 100; f/3.2; 1/100 sec. exposure time.