Anticrepuscular Rays and Cumulus Clouds

April 18, 2023



Photographer: Teresa Molinaro  
Summary Author: Teresa Molinaro  

It often happens that at sunset I find myself on the beach. I usually face to the east, waiting for the Moon to rise or for the Belt of Venus to emerge. On some days I’ve been able to admire anticrepuscular rays that unfold from the eastern horizon. The fact that they seem to converge at the antisolar point is an optical effect due to the observer's perspective -- these rays actually run parallel to each other, crossing the celestial vault from west to east.

Anticrepuscular rays form when incoming sunlight from the opposite horizon is partially blocked by clouds or by mountain peaks. If there’s sufficient dust or other aerosols in the sky, lanes of light and shadow may be projected from the western horizon to the eastern horizon. In this photo, captured from a beach in Sicily, Italy, cumulus clouds and a boat at sea frame these faint but attention-getting rays. Photo taken on November 8, 2022.

Photo details: Nikon D7500 camera; f/11; 1/200 second exposure; ISO 320;18-105 mm NIKKOR lens.


Santa Flavia, Palermo (Sicily) Italy Coordinates: 38.0817, 13.5253

Related Links:

Anticrepuscular Rays at the Winer Sunset
Teresa’s Website