|The Belt of Venus Over Mercedes, Argentina |
Although you've surely seen it, you might not have noticed it.
During a cloudless twilight, just before
sunrise or after
part of the atmosphere above the horizon appears
slightly off-color, slightly pink or orange.
Called the Belt of Venus, this off-color band between the dark
eclipsed sky and the
blue sky can be seen in nearly every direction
including that opposite the Sun.
Straight above, blue sky is normal sunlight reflecting off the atmosphere.
In the Belt of Venus, however, the
atmosphere reflects light from the setting (or rising)
Sun which appears more red.
Below the Belt of Venus,
the atmosphere appears more dark because no sunlight reaches it.
The Belt of Venus can be seen from any location with a
last month over Mercedes,
Argentina, a panoramic vista featuring the Belt of Venus was digitally stitched together from 16 smaller images.
The belt is