Monday, May 17, 2010

Anticrepuscular rays over the Western Cape

Rays coming out from the point of the setting sun are a common sight, as the light is blocked by clouds, but as these rays diverge over the zenith they can sometimes be seen to reconvene at the antisolar point. These less common rays are described as anticrepuscular and as we went for a walk on the beach this evening after work we got a wonderful display of them:

anticrepuscular rays
The shadow of myself and Jeff and Amanda to my left can be seen heading off in the same direction.
These same rays can be seen above the kelp which had washed up on the beach and was being bounced around on the tide-line:
and in this photo (click for a huge version) the Eastern edge of Table Mountain can be seen to the right with the clouds literally spilling over into the bay:
Capetown panorama
and a little colour to end, from the beach huts looking out to the shark-filled waters:

I'll be giving my first talk here tomorrow morning. It's the same talk I gave in Santiago a week or so ago which seemed to go down pretty well. The crowd here is a combination of string theorists (who know a huge amount about what I'm talking about - they have written some wonderful papers on this work) and cosmologists who have a pretty good idea about AdS/CFT and are likely to ask lots of great questions. It should be fun, but I'm not expecting an easy ride!

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