Spotty showers at sunset made some cool lines in the sky!

This happens every now and then when a small shower or even one single, isolated thunderstorm gets in between you and the sunset: crepuscular and anticrepuscular rays!

Crepuscular is a descriptive word meaning “of, relating to, or resembling twilight; dim; indistinct.”

Mike Wilhelm’s awesome view of the crepuscular rays:

Both crepuscular AND anticrepuscular rays:

These rays are shadows cast by clouds on the horizon (and sometimes even beyond the viewer’s perceived horizon). Although they are not extremely rare, most of us miss them unless they are vivid like the photos in the Tweets posted just above this text.

This is what’s really going on. To the west, the rays diverge from the setting sun. To the east, the shadows (rays) converge at the point in the sky exactly opposite the sun.

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-Jason
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