What's the blue streak over Houston this morning?

Viewers across our area reported seeing big blue streaks across the eastern sky early Thursday.

KHOU 11 Meteorologist Chita Craft says she believes the streaks are anti-crepuscular (or anti-solar) rays.

People as far away as New Braunfels reported on Twitter they were seeing the rays, too.

"They are most common during sunrise," says Craft. "Makes for beautiful and interesting photos!"

Viewer photos: Blue streak over Houston

The website Atmospheric Optics has these to say about the rays:

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.

(© 2016 KHOU)


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