Anti-Crepuscular Rays (November 06)

Anti-Crepuscular Rays (November 06)

November 06 Cloud of Month (Low)
(Click image to enlarge) (Image © John Annesley)

Nov 06 Wiro Header

November 06 Satans Shadows

Whilst they may not know the name, most cloudspotters will have noticed ‘crepuscular rays’. These are the radiating beams of sunlight that appear to burst from behind a Cumulus cloud, or shine down through a hole in a Stratocumulus (e.g. see Angela Cragg’s image in the photo gallery). These appear when the path of sunlight is made visible by atmospheric water droplets too scarce to appear as cloud, but plentiful enough to noticeably scatter the light. The shadows of the clouds give edges to the sunbeams. The perspective, as the rays approach, makes them appear to radiate outwards. Crepuscular rays are a common and beautiful sight.

Much more rare are ‘anti-crepuscular rays’, like the fine example shown above. These appear to emanate not from the sun, but from the point on the horizon directly opposite it. Cloudspotters will, therefore, only see anti-crepuscular rays when they stand with the sun directly behind them. The shadows of individual clouds behind the cloudspotter are cast onto the cloud layer in front. In the photo above, this is a high layer of ice crystals, called a Cirrostratus. As the shadows and rays recede to the horizon, perspective makes them appear to converge at the point opposite the sun even though they are in fact parallel.

Some call crepuscular rays ‘God’s fingers’. Does this mean anti-crepuscular rays are the ‘digits of the Devil’?
We sincerely hope not.

10 Comments
  • Cloudspirits

    Cloudspirits

    August 6, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Great Pic!

  • authentic jordans salet

    April 30, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Hi, i believe that i saw you visited my blog so i came to

  • […] So from now on, I’m going to make a habit of turning around to observe the sky opposite the sunset, least I miss another wondrous light show. Or, as the Cloud Appreciation Society calls them, the digits of the devil. […]

  • Joy Lynn Lewis

    September 3, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    I am so happy to find you.

  • Diane Evans

    October 22, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Thank you for explaining the sky I saw in Norwich, England last weekend. I had never consciously seen the phenomena before. I came across this website looking for language to describe rain, so this new knowledge is a bonus.

  • Kevin Price

    November 24, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Hello
    For first time I saw like these cloud ‘rays’ but at 10pm ! On 23 Oct in Mapperley, Nottingham – any ideas what this was ?
    Thanks

  • Kevin Price

    November 24, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Excuse me, on my last post the date seen should have been 16th Nov !

  • geneva

    February 17, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Cool

  • zipsignals review by aforexsignal.com

    April 22, 2014 at 5:32 am

    Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!
    Very useful info specially the last part :) I care
    for such info a lot. I was seeking this certain info
    for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  • Get The Girl Code Reviews

    May 23, 2014 at 12:44 am

    I’m a wordpress plugin programmer. I’ve launched a plugin that
    will help assemble web browsers email addresses in to your database without resorting to
    their communication and interaction. I am also looking to find ‘beta’
    evaluators since you actually are getting sizeable portions of internet site visitors, I
    am looking into both you and your blog website. You may be attracted?

Post a Comment