City Creek Nature Notes – Salt Lake City

September 20, 2016

August 19th

Filed under: Astronomy, Belt of Venus, Black Mountain, Colors, Light, Weather — canopus56 @ 11:08 pm

Leonardo da Vinci Does City Creek

6:30 a.m. Usually l jog in the evenings, when the upper canyon is the front lit by westerly orange light. The upper canyon becomes visible as I reach mile post 1.5 and in the morning this lighting is reversed. Unnamed peak at 8283 feet on the north and Black Mountain on the south side of the canyon are back lit by the Belt of Venus. The Belt of Venus consists of a blue purple and a pink band that subtends the lower 5 degrees around the horizon. It is an optical effect generated by the advance of dawn. As sunrise continues the sun is rising slightly oblique to the v-shape formed by the upper canyon. Although the sky is cloudless, particles in the atmosphere are illuminated, and this gives the upper canyon the otherworldly appearance of mountains seen in the background of Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings. A line of bright sunlight starts descending the north side of the canyon wall. I quickly jog down canyon and reach my car as the sun overtakes me.

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