Ray & Shadow Perspectives

The Dolomites cast parallel rays & shadows into a long mountain valley. Pictured by Jonathan Shock on a flight from Munich to Trieste.

©Jonathan Shock

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From peaks on the valley sunward side the parallel rays would cast 2D corrugated shadows onto the opposite valley wall. 3D folds of the shadow tubes appear to converge towards the antisolar point.

Image by James Osborn in the the pinnacle of Aguille de la Tsa, Swiss Valais
From the valley floor the rays would look rather like those below, soaring upwards and outwards from the place of the hidden sun.

Image by Radek Grochowski of sunrise rays over Manaslu, Nepal.

Sun rays and shadows, "crepuscular rays", are one of the few atmospheric optics sights with tangible existence.   You can fly, and sometimes walk, under them, through them or around them.  

The shadows are long tubes, always nearly parallel and nearly always downward going.   Their appearance is a matter of perspective - where you are and the direction that you look.