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Harbour Lake Mirrored Sunrise in the west 20121020 | by Kenneth Cole Schneider
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Harbour Lake Mirrored Sunrise in the west 20121020

This morning I once again photographed a "false sunrise" on the western horizon, at 7:22 AM, EDT. This view is directly opposite the spot where the sun was scheduled to appear above the horizon in about 2 minutes. The sky overhead was clear and already quite blue. There were thunderstorms over the Atlantic coast, so it was quite dark to the east. The rays of the sun had filtered over the tops of the thunderheads and painted long parallel pink streaks. Perspective gives them the appearance of diverging from the west, but they actually are converging towards the vanishing point. Almost every summer, tropical winds carry dust particles 5,800 miles across the ocean from northern Africa. The dust is able to cross that distance because it travels in its own air layer — the Saharan Air Layers — over a lower cooler layer of atmosphere, according to National Aeronautics and Space Administration officials. Hurricanes follow the same path from the African coast, but the dust can produce some beautiful pink sunrises in south Florida. This, along with high humidity, may well have been the cause of the pink color of the sun's rays. The body of water is the Harbour Lakes water conservation area in the wetlands next to our south Florida home. My terminology is not correct. Technically, a "false sunrise" or dawn sundog is... an atmospheric optical phenomenon associated with the reflection or refraction of sunlight by small ice crystals making up cirrus or cirrostratus clouds in the very particular case when the sun is still below the horizon. Ref: Visit

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Uploaded on October 20, 2012