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.
Anti-crepuscular rays spotted over Bisbee, Arizona, US by John Annesley (Member 14,212).
10 thoughts on “Anti-Crepuscular Rays (November 06)”
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Excuse me, on my last post the date seen should have been 16th Nov !
For first time I saw like these cloud ‘rays’ but at 10pm ! On 23 Oct in Mapperley, Nottingham – any ideas what this was ?
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.
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