Alpenglow

One of the events I cherish in my new home is viewing true ‘alpenglow’ up here in ‘The Last Frontier’ and to this point I’ve seen some marvelous examples of the effect. To those unsure true ‘alpenglow’ is caused when the sun is just below the horizon – this can occur just before sunrise or just after sunset – such that the more energetic (i.e. higher frequency) portion of the visible light segment of the electromagnetic spectrum isn’t bent enough by the earth’s atmosphere and radiates into space while the less energetic (i.e lower frequency) portion – in this case the reds – are bent just enough to strike taller objects like mountains.  The phenomena is always very short duration and requires a clear atmosphere.  There are other instances of a pink to red light striking mountains which technically do not meet the above definition but are also referred to to as ‘alpenglow’.  While I prefer the images of true alpenglow I have included a number of examples of both effects in the following pictures.  This effect is just one more demonstration of the incredible natural beauty that truly makes ‘The Great Land’ unique and so memorable!

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Mt Foraker, a 17,000 foot high mountain, shows true alpenglow on its western face

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Denali and Mt Hunter awash in early morning alpenglow

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Early morning alpenglow on The Alaska Range

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Just the peak of Denali showing evening alpenglow

Unknown peak in Denali NP&P awash in alpenglow

Unknown peak in Denali NP&P awash in alpenglow

2 thoughts on “Alpenglow

  1. I spent a couple hours at that very spot you shot the early morning alpenglow picture of Denali. It is a good location to be when ‘the’ mountain is out.

  2. Hey Pete – You betcha! Its ‘the’ overlook on the Spur just prior to descending into the lower, more flat area that’s Talkeetna. I’m always looking at the Alaska Range from that location as I want to build up a portfolio of all the ‘moods’ of that portion of the range and especially ‘the mountain’!!

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