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Light Rays to Brighten Days

Crepuscular rays. Photo copyright Sara J. Bruegel, 2010
Crepuscular rays can form at any time of the day. Photo copyright Sara J. Bruegel, 2010

One day as I was driving down the highway I glanced out a window and saw a stunning scene that took my breath away for a second.  Several distinct rays of bright light shone through a tight grouping of pure white clouds and down onto an arbitrary place out in the middle of a field.  Have you ever noticed light rays like this before?  They are called “crepuscular rays”  (pronounced “kri-puss-cue- ler”).

These beautiful rays can form at sunrise, sunset, or any other time during the day.   Crepuscular rays are a lot more common than most people would realize.  They are up there, but it’s easy for us to get so caught up in our busy lives that we forget to look up and notice the beautiful light rays shining down on us. Crepuscular rays are probably my favorite thing to see in the daytime sky and I love pointing them out to whoever I’m with.

Photo credit: National Weather Service

Sometimes a very thin, high, icy layer of cloud (usually “cirrostratus”) that is almost invisible makes its way across the blue sky.  One of the ways you can discover this layer of cloud is if you see a ring, technically called a “halo”, around the sun or moon.  Halos are frequently missed because they are so close to the sun.  Another thing that you might see close to the sun is brilliant iridescence in the clouds (was that iridescence or is it just my eyes going crazy from looking too close to the sun???)

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Now, don’t go looking close to the sun for a corona or iridescence.  There’s a much less painful way to enjoy the beauty.  You can use tinted glass to see and take pictures of the reflection of cloud formations close to the sun.  I bought a large, black, plastic plate with a very shiny finish that I enjoy using to look at clouds.  I discovered this handy tip in one of my favorite weather books, The Weather Identification Handbook, by Storm Dunlop.

Crepuscular rays, coronas, and iridescence are truly magnificent – yet, common –  things in the sky that often go unnoticed.  How much beauty in God’s creation just outside your window do you miss every day?  What beautiful blessings has the Lord given you to brighten up your day?  Please, take a minute to notice those things and thank God for the beauty He has placed in your life.

This is what I use to see clouds, corona, or iridescence close to the sun. Photo taken by Sara J. Bruegel

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Written by Sara J. Mikkelson

Sara J. Mikkelson (Bruegel) is a young woman dedicated to bringing glory to God in all that she does. Her focus is creation science children’s ministry, reaching kids with truth and hope that comes from the Word of God. Sara has an associate of science degree in geology, graduating Phi Theta Kappa with honors. She is administrator of the Creation Club. Sara and her husband David both work at David Rives Ministires

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  1. Beautiful! I tried to shoot a photo of a sun corona, but it didn’t turn out anything like the photo you’ve included here. Next time I see one, I’ll try to have on hand a black plate (or disc)!

  2. We live in Arizona and often see crepuscular rays, yesterday after a storm there was a glorious sky, not only crepuscular rays but a rainbow. When ever I see the crepuscular rays I say to my husband “look honey God is talking, and the heavens are declaring His Glory”. Thank for this article I never knew there was a name for this beautiful display of God’s creation. Patti Maines Peoria, Arizona

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