Strange blue rays stretching across the sky

Monday evening gave us a magnificent sunset. The variety of colors in the night sky was very impressive – pink, orange, peach and some green.

STRANGE BUT BEAUTIFUL PHENOMENA IN THE NIGHT SKY

Pulling through the middle of this pink/peach mix, seemingly straight out of the ground, were these weird and mesmerizing blue streaks; that’s what I called them anyway. But they are actually rays.

And the western end of Daviess County wasn’t the only place they were seen. My friend Melissa Martin Recke saw the same thing from downtown Louisville.

Melissa Martin Recke/Facebook

Melissa Martin Recke/Facebook

And yes, I said they looked like they were coming out of the ground, but, of course, they weren’t. But they have come down to the horizon.

SAY IT WITH ME NOW… TWILIGHT RAYS

These are phenomena known as twilight rays. (Try saying that three times quickly.) These celestial rays appear “after sunset and spread across the western sky radiating from the sun’s position below the horizon.” Here is a time lapse video showing the appearance of twilight rays – and this is from NEW ZEALAND. So that’s Daviess County, Louisville and New Zealand…so far.

IT SEEMS I HAVE SEEN CREPUSCULAR RAYS BEFORE, BUT NOT LIKE THIS

Yes, it’s a joke. Twilight rays are visible everywhere. All you need is sunshine. But here’s the thing… the image that accompanies this definition on Britannica.com and the images in these videos are what I’ve always called “rays of sunshine”; CES that I have already seen.

I’ve never seen the ones we saw last night – blue beams of something that doesn’t look like light cutting through a completely different field of color. No, I’m not trying to make up some weird plot nonsense; they just don’t look like the ones in the photo above or the one Melissa Recke posted.

But that’s what they are. The color probably has something to do with the angle of the sun; I saw the rays whiter when there was a little more daylight.

Well, there it is. Twilight rays… let’s say it together cre-pus-cu-lar. Science is fun; words are even better.

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