Texans Wondered What This Blue Streak in the Sky Was on Thursday
A big blue streak in the sky spanning as far as the eye could see perplexed many Texans from Houston all the way to New Braunfels on Thursday morning. People posted photos to Instagram and Twitter of the beautiful sight, but everyone had the same question, what exactly are we looking at?
KHOU 11 Meteorologist Chita Craft explained to Houstonians that the blue in the sky was actually a reflection of off-shore showers, and the phenonmenon is called “anti-crepuscular or anti-solar, rays.” She stated that they’re often seen during the sunrise.
In order to explain the blue streaks in more depth, we’ll refer to the description from Atmospheric Optics: “Crepuscular rays appear to converge on the sun, anticrepuscular or antisolar rays converge in the opposite direction and you must have your back to the sun or sunset point to see them. They appear to converge towards the antisolar point, the point on the sky sphere directly opposite the sun. Like crepuscular rays they are parallel shafts of sunlight from holes in the clouds and their apparently odd directions are a perspective effect. Think of a long straight road, it converges towards the horizon but turn around and it also converges to the opposite horizon. Crepuscular and anticrepuscular rays behave in the same way.
Anticrepuscular rays are not rare but they must be sought carefully. When ordinary crepuscular rays are visible, turn around and search for their opposite numbers. More rarely, sunrays pass right across the sky.”
If you happen to see another blue streak across the sky sometime soon, be sure to snap a picture!