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An unusual shot of anticrepuscular rays

It looks like ordinary crepuscular rays are coming from the reflected sunlight at the base of this mountain. But that’s not what’s happening in this rare photo.

View larger. | Dennis Schoenfelder caught these anticrepuscular rays while looking toward Mount Blanca, 4th-highest summit of North America’s Rocky Mountains.

Dennis Schoenfelder of Alamosa, Colorado, captured this unusual photo of anticrepuscular rays on March 15, 2018. Dennis wrote:

I had to take a picture of those clouds and the reflected light coming up from the base of Mount Blanca.

Canon 7D Tamron 16-300.

Yes, there’s reflected sunlight at the base of the mountains, and it appears that ordinary crepuscular rays are emananting from it. But that’s not what’s happening in this photo. Sky optics expert Les Cowley of the website Atmospheric Optics kindly took a look at this photo for us and he said:

These are anticrepuscular rays that converge to a point directly opposite the sun.

This is a highly unusual and beautiful image where we see the rays terminating on the mountains and illuminating them with bright sunlight.

Thank you, Dennis and Les!

Bottom line: Anticrepuscular rays converging on Mt. Blanca in Colorado.

Deborah Byrd

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