At sunrise and sunset, rays emanating from the sun to the perpendicular arc that meets the viewer's zenith are called crepuscular rays, or solar rays. Their distinctive bands all point towards the sun. When these same rays are visible at sunset from the viewer's zenith arc to the antisolar point, even though they are emanating from the sun, perspective makes them appear to emanate from an empty spot on the opposite horizon. (It's a truly cool, invisible sun effect.) Thus these rays merit their own name, called anti-crepuscular rays or anti-solar rays. You can also find both terms as single words without the hyphen.

Linguistic note: Given that "crepuscular" is from the Latin crepusculum for twilight, anti-crepuscular is a fitting—if a little ham-handed—name for such a beautiful atmospheric effect.

  • At the time of writing, a beautiful example is available at

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