Red Crepuscular Rays from an Eclipse

APOD: 2022 May 30 - Red Crepuscular Rays from an Eclipse

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2022 May 30
The featured image shows crepuscular rays emanating 
from below the horizon and appearing quite red. 
Please see the explanation for more detailed information.

Red Crepuscular Rays from an Eclipse
Image Credit & Copyright: Fefo Bouvier

Explanation: What's happening behind that island? Things both expected and unexpected. Expected, perhaps, the pictured rays of light -- called crepuscular rays -- originate from the Sun. Unexpected, though, the Sun was being partially eclipsed by the Moon at the time -- late last month. Expected, perhaps, the Sun's rays are quite bright as they shine through gaps in below-horizon clouds. Unexpected, though, the crepuscular rays are quite red, likely the result an abundance of aerosols in Earth's atmosphere scattering away much of the blue light. Expected, with hope, a memorable scene featuring both the Moon and the Sun, superposed. Unfortunately, from this location -- in Uruguay looking toward Argentina -- clouds obscured the eclipse -- which wasn't completely unexpected. However, after packing up to go home, the beauty of bright red crepuscular rays emerged -- quite unexpectedly. Oh -- and that island on the horizon -- it's really two islands.

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