Not a Sunset. Not a Sunrise

This is what I saw at sunrise this morning:

The interesting catch: This is the western horizon. Generally speaking, the western horizon is not the one you expect to have sunrise-like qualities to it, so I naturally found it interesting and snapped a photo. My expectation is that the haze in the air caught the reddish morning light as the sun peeped out. Pretty in any event.

And for you completists out there, here’s the actual sunrise:

Also pretty.

Update, 1:37pm: in comments, Stephen suggests what I am seeing there is the Belt of Venus.

23 thoughts on “Not a Sunset. Not a Sunrise

  1. Very nice…
    Much better than what I saw this morning. Grey storm clouds. And right now I am looking outside and what do I see? More grey storm clouds. If it would only start raining I would feel better about “the grey storm clouds”.

  2. Justme:

    I don’t think there would be that much of a market. And anyway, my subjects tend to be the same: Family, pets, sunrises and sunsets.

  3. At least you got a nice perk for being up at sunrise. Sadly, I’m often up at sunrise. Awake, no, but up. I guess you were awake since you had the presence of mind to take that picture.

  4. Did you ever see a parhelion (or a “sun dog” as it’s sometimes called)? I saw one in the middle of nowhere in Minnesota as I was driving through drifting snow on New Year’s Day, and it was frankly one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. I just regret that I didn’t have my camera at the time.

  5. Yes, that is the belt of venus or architave (think that’s how to spell that). actually the red part is the belt, where the sunlight scatters off the rim of Earth through the atmosphere. The deeper blue below the red is the gosh-darn SHADOW OF EARTH!

    I always love to see them.

    By the way they are also visible in the East at sunset. It takes a clear sky to see at either time.

  6. Yup, that’s the Belt of Venus for sure. I see it all the time. It’s basically the shadow of the Earth itself on the haze in the atmosphere. It’ll be darkest and highest opposite the Sun (so it’s in the east at sunset). If you have a clear horizon, you can actually see it as highest opposite the sun, and getting lower (closer to the horizon) as you turn north or south.

    From an airplane once I saw it as a giant wedge in the sky and it was phenomenal. I always point it out to people when they see it.

    And you’ll like this irony: despite the name, Venus can never be in it. Venus is always near the Sun, and the Belt is opposite the Sun in the sky. :-)

  7. The coolest thing I have seen in the sky is a full-circle rainbow. I still am not exactly sure how they occur, but they are really something.

  8. JJS: All rainbows are circular, you just normally can’t see the whole thing. If you know a pilot, ask them, they see them fully from the air.

  9. Lots of people don’t seem to realize that you can face away from the sun during sunset or sunrise and still get a good picture.

  10. Jamie (#19) is right – rainbows are circular.

    I’ve seen two while flying so far, didn’t have my camera with me either time, dammit.

    Other weather phenomenom usually only seen from the air: glories. Think anti-shadows. They’re incredibly cool, and the one time I saw it I had no camera with me, either…

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