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Sunset, Looking East

Visible to anyone in the world

Sunrise and sunset provide some of the most beautiful sights in the sky. But we only usually bother to look towards the rising or setting sun, and not in the opposite direction, and so we miss some interesting effects.

My photo below was taken at 4pm this evening, facing east.


You can see that a band of sky, and a small stray cloud above, is illuminated by the pink rays from the setting sun in the opposite part of the sky, and that below the pink band there is a blue-grey one, which I think is the shadow of the earth on the atmosphere.

The effect would be more striking given a flatter horizon and a better camera than the one on my phone, but all the same I was pleased to get this shot.




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Me in a rare cheerful mood

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The dark band below the pink band (the Belt of Venus) is indeed the shadow of the Earth.

There is something about those effects that our brains filter them out unless they are pointed out.  Once pointed out, looking for them becomes an interest in itself.

My favourites: clouds illuminated from beneath by a setting sun; the unforgettable scarlet sunsets caused by the steelworks at Port Talbot; searching for anticrepuscular rays.

At Minehead on Christmas Eve, walking along the front and looking out across the Bristol Channel, we saw a double rainbow; the dark band between the main bow and its mirror was very clear.  I never thought to take a picture of it.  Oops.

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I see it

as a kind of quiet poetry

the world has overlooked.



Sharon Hartles - Zemiologist - because ALL HARM MATTERS

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That's a nice photo Richard... if not a little haunting.