Friday, July 22, 2016

Don't forget the Earth shadow

I never get tired of seeing our closest star set below the horizon. Seeing how the landscape changes as the warm light gets fainter by the minute. Every sunset has its personality depending och location, weather and season. Here in the higher latitudes we have our bright summer nights and during winter the Sun sets in the afternoon and darkness falls quite fast.

Midwinter sunset with a bright solar halo.

Another beautiful thing about a sunset is what happens right after the Sun has set. If turn around, you can slowly see the Earth shadow rising from the horizon. A low horizon is preferred to get a better view of the phenomena. 

As twilight deepens a dark blue band slowly rises upwards from the horizon. This band is the shadow of the Earth projected on the atmosphere. Above the blue shadow band you can also se a pink band called the anti-twilight arch or "Belt of Venus". The pink color comes from scattered and deeply reddened sunlight mixed with the deep blues colors of the sky.

Moonrise in Earth shadow and Belt of Venus.

The same thing happens before a sunrise. Look in the opposite direction of the rising Sun and you will see the Earth shadow sinking towards the horizon as the Sun rises.

Earth shadow is also visible before sunrise.

So next time you're watching a sunset, stay out a bit longer and don't forget to look behind you to see the Earth shadow rise.

Don't forget to look behind you after sunset.
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1 comment:

  1. thank you for giving us these beautiful photos

    ReplyDelete