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EarthSky // Today's Image Release Date: Feb 07, 2013

Crepuscular rays over the Gulf of Mexico on February 5

Our friend on Facebook, Rick Trommater in St. Peterburg, Florida, captured this beautiful photo of crepuscular rays at sunset on the evening of February 5, 2013.

Crepuscular rays, sometimes called sunrays, via Rick Trommater. View larger.

Crepuscular rays are columns of sunlit air, streaming through gaps in clouds or other objects (for example, mountain peaks). Darker cloud-shadowed regions lie between the sunlit columns. These rays are really parallel to each other. But they appear to diverge, much as a road that looks narrow in the distance appears wide beneath your feet. This beautiful photo of a winter sunset over the Gulf of Mexico shows them clearly.

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