Monday, May 2, 2011

What do you call this phenomenon?

Let there be light

We see things everyday that do not correspond to our memory dictionary. And if someone asks as to describe an occurring pehenmoenon, we find ourselves at loss of words for a description. 

If someone asks us what does the phenomenon of the sun rays peeping out of clouds as above or from behind a mountains is called, we would simply call it sun rays - as simple as that. But is this the correct word to describe the phenomenon? Certainly not.

In fact the rays peeping through the clouds or from behind a mountain or an object are called the Crepuscular rays. Some also call these the God's rays. But Crepuscular rays is the correct word. Crepuscular rays appear to diverge outward from behind the clouds or obscuring object.

Although seen diverging out, the light rays are in fact parallel, but these appear to diverge out or converge towards the source, sun in this case, due to perspective, the same way as the rail tracks or a road is seen to be converging in the distance. Crepuscular rays are often red or yellow in appearance because blue light from the sun is selectively scattered out of the beam by air molecules.

Photo Source: Let there be light (Jalalspages - Flickr)


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