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Shafts of sunlight over Bristol Channel, UK

Shafts of sunlight over Bristol Channel, UK

C036/0274

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Credit

MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Sunlight streaming through small breaks in the clouds which act as a grid, allowing just small shafts of light to pass through to illuminate the horizon. For the light to be visible the shafts are defined by water and dust particles in the air, particularly above sea's surface. The beams are called crepuscular rays, from the Latin for twilight, the time of day, along with dawn, when they are most often observed. It is one of the many atmospheric optical phenomena. Photographed from Hartland Quay, Devon, UK.

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