What do you call this?

Just noticed this with one of the photos from last weekend ... if you look in the middle of this shot toward the top, you'll see what looks like a crepuscular ray eminating from the cloud in front of the lightning bolt. Does anyone else have similar phenomena that you've captured? - If so, what would you call this effect? Might need Dan Robinson to help me with this one -

Thanks -

Is there a bigger/higher res version of this available somewhere?
Could we have the time of day of the shot and what direction we are looking?
Shutter speed too, (if I'm not asking for too much)

Darren Addy
Kearney, NE
Yeah - I have a high res version at home - - -

This was taken at 9:00 p.m. during the Maysville tornado last Saturday night (in complete darkness except for the lightning). Shutter speed was 6 secs at F/8 ... ISO 100. We are looking east just above the storm's rotating updraft. I'll upload a higher res version later.
Nah - definitely no contrails there ... if so, there's likely a mangled jet somewhere over the Missouri countryside that no one has discovered yet - lol. No - what we are seeing here is just a break in the clouds, that allowed the exceptionally bright light from the bolt to filter through it in much the same way crepuscular rays eminate from in front of the sun. I would imagine a full moon could have the same effect if a person were in the right place and under the right conditions. But it seems like for something like this to happen with lightning would be fairly rare ... just because the viewer's angle would have to be just right ... along with the luminosity of the lightning, the timing/placement of the bolt, the timing of the camera, etc. No big deal, just thought it was something different ...
Yeah, the moon was my first thought. On the 15th it would have been 2 days past full and rose at a little after 9:00 pm in your location. It's hard to tell from the small image, but (to me) it looks more like illuminated cloud material than a shaft of light. Almost like a beaver tail sort of feature (but of course this is way too high for that).

I'll stop with the conjecture now.

Darren Addy
Kearney, NE
Crepuscular is a funny word.

We use that word a lot here in the desert, because animals are often either nocturnal or crepuscular. Crepuscular literally means “dawn or duskâ€￾ referring to low light, or being active during those times. Therefore, if you’re a critter running around, you are either diurnal, nocturnal, or crepuscular. Crepuscular rays then come from the sun in low light conditions.

That is an odd picture.

If there was so sunlight, the only possibilities I can think of are

-moon beam
-lens flare
-lightning illuminating virga
-a javelin-shaped lightning channel that was luminous but clouded over
-artificial spotlight coming from somewhere

A mystery, I like it.
*shrug* to me it just looks like the orientation of the clouds... you've got cloud in front of the lightning to the top blocking the light... then light lit surface... which then darkens due to distance from the bolt...

Thanks - I've felt like it was just a shaft of light coming from the bolt all along, so wasn't really looking for an explanation concerning extra-terrestrial involvement in the storm or anything - lol ... I just wondered what we might call this effect of a ray of light eminating from a lightning bolt. I think we should call it a "bolt ray." Just like the chasers from the good old days had to come up with names for storm features like a 'beaver tail,' 'wall cloud,' etc. ha

Anyway - enough of that ... I updated my blog with lots more lightning photos from that night, and a couple distance shots from the Chillicothe storm Tuesday. You can see them here.

This is a shot of lightning pulsing somewhere inside the collar of the storm, where the tower met the core: