Beams of Light

Steve Funk

Senior Member.
From JS 1.jpg

A friend who believes in chemtrails sent me this photo for an explanation. I would guess that it is either crepuscular rays, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crepuscular_rays ,or an artifact of imperfections in the camera. http://physics.stackexchange.com/qu...e-these-rays-that-appear-in-photograph-of-sun . Does anyone want to add anything or correct this? This picture was taken facing south, probably around 11 am, in northeastern Colorado. There are also some normal contrails, a low cloud (altostratus?) and a short length of what could be a spread out contrail.
 

WeedWhacker

Senior Member
What I see are some distortions IN the lens of the camera, due the proximity of the Sun, upper left-frame.

"AS TO" the actual "clouds" in the image....well....might have been generated "first" as contrails, then "persisted" (and ("evolved")....because ALL clouds "change" with time). Just slowly, and not in "Human" time-frames....in our reference of how time passes.

BEST seen in time-lapse sorts of videos....ONE example (of many!):

 

deirdre

Senior Member.
: ( hate to be a doubting thomas. but why are some rays not straight? esp in the upper right. there are two bent but the others nearby arent.
and some converge into each other.

when i draw wrinkles for SL clothes my pulls look like that.
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
Look like crepuscular rays to me, Denis Hopper and Peter Fonda used them, and other lens flare effects to great effect in the movie Easy Rider. Made in 1969,
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
From JS 1.jpg

A friend who believes in chemtrails sent me this photo for an explanation. I would guess that it is either crepuscular rays, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crepuscular_rays ,or an artifact of imperfections in the camera. http://physics.stackexchange.com/qu...e-these-rays-that-appear-in-photograph-of-sun . Does anyone want to add anything or correct this? This picture was taken facing south, probably around 11 am, in northeastern Colorado. There are also some normal contrails, a low cloud (altostratus?) and a short length of what could be a spread out contrail.

It's not crepuscular rays, those are visible to the naked eye. This is from the camera. It's basically a dirty lens. I just made this video by pointing the camera at a flashlight, and smudging the lens.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here I've duplicated the effect with an iPhone camera, and the same flashlight as was used in the video:


Now if the optics of the camera were perfect, you'd not see any rays, just a slight glow around the flashlight from the atmospheric scattering.

The rays come for the light bouncing around in the optics, as the Stackexchange article says. But there are a few different ways. In the video you see a six pointed pattern, because the aperture of my camera is a hexagon.

But in the iPhone photo, and the photo in the OP, there's no clear shape, just lots of streaks of light. This is because the iPhone has a fixed shape aperture, a circle. But it's a very small one, so very minor imperfections and specks on the surface essentially change the shape, and you get these rays.

You can also get a "windshield wiper" ray if you smear the lens in a particular direction. Here I wiped my finger down the lens. This creates vertical streaks that seem to be showing up as "ripples" in the rays, but more noticeable it creates a single very bright horizontal ray, basically caused by the light reflecting off the vertical ridges in the smear at right angles.



And for the same reason lights in the windshield get streaked in the opposite direction to your windshield wipers:
 
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