Sunset at 33,000 ft

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Sunset at 33,000 feet.    747 pilot Gary Saunders imaged this strongly flattened and misshapen sun. At high altitudes, sunrise and sunset rays have to make a double passage through the lower atmosphere and are therefore more strongly refracted. Flattening of the Sun's disk can be almost double that at ground level. Inversion layers at lower altitude have additionally produced layering of the solar disk. Image ©2005, Gary Saunders, shown with permission.