On December 26, 10 minutes after the sun had set below the horizon, an almost perfect diagonal cloud shadow, cast by the anvil of a distant cumulonimbus cloud, formed a magnificent triangular pattern in the sky. There was deep blue in the shaded portion and brilliant sunset colors where uninterrupted rays from the setting sun were still able to reflect from thin veils of cloud above (see image above).
To add to the beauty of the scene, Venus shone brightly. In the image above, look toward the middle, at the top, in the colored portion of the sky.
The cloud shadow changed from orange to magenta, pale violet and then deep blue as the setting sunlight faded (see the mosaic below).
The cloud shadow remained visible until light on the horizon had changed from orange to red (bottom image).
The photographs were taken using a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 camera in sunset scenery mode.
Dr. Peter Lowenstein has contributed many beautiful and fascinating images and stories to EarthSky. Trained as a geochemist, he spent his early years with the Geological Survey of Papua New Guinea, specializing in metals and volcanoes. In 1989, he moved to the Zimbabwe Geological Survey as Chief Economic Geologist and has lived and worked in Zimbabwe ever since. Peter is now retired to Zimbabwe, in a house with a beautiful view in Murambi East, Mutare, where he pursues favorite hobbies including construction of electronic gadgets, listening to music, gardening, surfing the Internet ... and photography.