Earth Shadow Rising

Soon after sunset the earth's shadow can be seen rising in the east as the sun goes down. Above the shadow is a distinct pink band sometimes called the 'Belt of Venus'.

The top of the atmosphere is still in sunlight, although scattering has reduced it to a pink colour.

Taken about 15 minutes later the shadow is higher in the sky but the band is weaker and more diffuse. Soon the shadow merges with the darkening sky.

With the Sun 3 degrees below the horizon the Earth's shadow is prominent, emphasised by the colour contrast with the sunlit air above.

By the time the Sun is 6 degrees below the horizon the colour contrast has faded and the shadow is becoming indistinct. The lower part of the shadow near the horizon now seems slightly lighter than the middle section.

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