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Surprising explanation for mysterious line in Aussie's photo of backyard sky

Sky watchers were baffled by the images shared by a man who took them from his backyard in northern NSW.

A dramatic light phenomenon has baffled Aussies who joked it looked like “a crease in the space/time continuum” or “a glitch in the matrix”.

The unusual light formation taken from a man’s backyard in NSW’s Northern Tablelands, was posted on the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) Radar Fan Club page and attracted hundreds of comments from sky watchers.

“Just took this photo from my backyard in Tenterfield, NSW. Hoping someone can shed some light on what it is?”, the man wrote.

The combination of crepuscular rays and anti-crepuscular rays produced an unusual light phenomenon at Tenterfield. Source: Facebook/Bureau of Meteorology Radar Fan Club
A NSW man's photo of an unusual light phenomena he photographed in Tenterfield has baffled Aussies. Source: Facebook/Bureau of Meteorology Radar Fan Club

While some were on the money when they stated it was an example of either crepuscular or anti-crepuscular rays, others light-heartedly suggested it could be aliens, the “demarcation line between daylight savings time and non-daylight savings time” or “the crossing over point of an alternate universe”.

The man who posted the original image said scenic lookout point Mount Mackenzie, which is almost 1,300 metres above sea level, was located around 7km to the west of where the photo was taken, meaning the sun's rays could have been obscured by its peak.

“You see the same thing in the Himalayas but have rarely seen in Oz,” one commenter wrote.

However, another said they had also seen the light phenomena 600km away in Bundaberg, Queensland, suggesting it hadn't been caused by partial mountain obscurity.

Others shared their own dramatic photos of the evening skies – mostly taken in NSW and Queensland – which showed off Mother Nature at her very best.

A light show caused by a combination of combination of crepuscular rays and anti-crepuscular rays. Source: Facebook/Bureau of Meteorology Radar Fan Club
The striking images show the evening sky in all its glory. Source: Facebook/Bureau of Meteorology Radar Fan Club

Dramatic line in sky explained by expert

BoM senior meteorologist Angus Hines told Yahoo News Australia the photos appeared to be a combination of crepuscular rays and anti-crepuscular rays.

“The two phenomena are similar, although different in a few ways,” he said. “Crepuscular rays are seen when the viewer is looking towards the sun.

Dramatic images show a combination of crepuscular rays and anti-crepuscular rays. Source: Facebook/Bureau of Meteorology Radar Fan Club
The dramatic photos were of crepuscular and anti-crepuscular rays, according to BoM senior meteorologist Angus Hines. Source: Facebook/Bureau of Meteorology Radar Fan Club

“Something will be covering the sun, as well as blocking some or most of the sun’s rays – either cloud cover, or an uneven horizon, for example mountains or trees, meaning only some of the sun's light gets through.

“These rays of light are all parallel, although they appear to diverge from where the sun is. Anti-crepuscular rays are similar, but you'll only see anti-crepuscular rays if you're facing away from the sun.

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The beautiful sunset images were taken from backyards and suburban streets across Australia. Source: Facebook/Bureau of Meteorology Radar Fan Club

“It is where rays of light and shadow from the sun converge on a point on the opposite horizon.

“Again, these lines are parallel despite how they appear to converge – in the same way that train tracks look to converge off in the distance, even though we know they are parallel the entire way,” Hines added.

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