What's New
  Rays & Shadows
    Crepuscular rays
      Sky-wide rays
      Lunar rays
      Reflected rays
      More images
      Mystery Painting
    Cloud shadows
    Mountain Shadow
    Earth's Shadow     Blue Sky
    Sunset Mirages
    Green Flash
    Opposition effect
  Water Droplets
  Ice Halos
  High Atmosphere
  Links & Resources
  Search - Index



  Sky-wide rays and shadows
    Rays and shadows stretch across the sky. A unique 180º fisheye view by Tom J. Martinez of Cleveland, Missouri. "While waiting for the sky to get dark at a star party near Marion, Kansas, I saw crepuscular rays extend from where the sun was setting, across the sky, to the antisolar point." Image ©2003 Tom J Martinez, shown with permission.

The rays are all parallel to each other, real columns of sunlit and shadowed air. In the west, perspective effects make them appear to converge towards the sun as they get more distant. They again appear to converge in the east, this time towards the antisolar point. The rays in the antisolar direction, are called anti-crepuscular. This image shows brilliantly that familiar crepuscular rays and the less well known anti-crepuscular rays are really the same objects.

The easterly sky contains another shadow. Look at the dark wedge shape starting right of center and highest where the anticrepuscular rays converge. This is the shadow of the earth itself cast upon the atmosphere.