"Lake Mead Pastel Sunrise"


"Lake Mead Pastel Sunrise"

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Limited Edition Aerial Photograph by Zedekiah

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Early dawn and Lake Mead lies silent and still under warm predawn pastel hues on a mid-summer morning in this excellent example of alpenglow phenomena.

Alpenglow, (from German: Alpenglühen) This beautiful optical phenomenon appears as a horizontal reddish and sometimes other hued glow, near the horizon opposite of the Sun, when the solar disk is just below the horizon.

This effect is easily visible when mountains are illuminated, but also occur when clouds are lit by a backscatter effect. Since the Sun is below the horizon, there is no direct path for sunlight to reach the surface. Unlike sunrise or sunset, light which causes alpenglow is reflected off airborne precipitation, ice crystals, and tiny particulates high in the Earths atmosphere.

These natural aerosols high in the eastern part of the sky can be lit in the same way by the remaining scattered red light straddling the fringe of Earth's shadow (called the Terminator). This backscattered light projects vibrant bands of colors opposite of the Sun.