The Half-Astrophysicist Blog

What Most People Miss at Sunset…

Everyone loves a good sunset. Go to a west facing beach and you will see lots of people out there watching sunset (or better yet, try Duval Street on Key West!)  Most people watch sunset (sometimes seeing  green flash) and then go to dinner or something.

Next time you watch a sunset, turn around after the sunsets and look east.  You can sometimes see another interesting phenomena: the Earth’s shadow rising!  I was doing a star party a couple of weeks ago and go this picture looking east towards Tucson.This was taken with my cell phone camera (I left my good DLSR at home that night) so the picture isn’t quite the quality I would like.  Even with this picture, note the dividing line between the pinks and the nice deep blue.  That is Earth’s shadow!  You can watch this line slowly rise in the sky as the Sun sinks lower below the horizon.

Another interesting thing to note is that I am actually not facing directly east, but somewhat north of east to get this picture.  Since it is winter, the Sun is setting in the southwest, so I have to face somewhat northeast to get the best view of the rising shadow.

So next time you are out watching a sunset, turn around when the Sun is gone and watch the shadow rise!


February 2, 2010 - Posted by | Astrophotography, Observing

1 Comment »

  1. Very cool !!

    Comment by epicswife | March 4, 2010 | Reply

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