By Anica Padilla

(CBS4) — Crepuscular rays created a spectacular sunset in parts of Colorado on Sunday. Dramatic shafts of light radiated from the setting sun as it moved between a layer of clouds and the mountains.

sunset crepuscular rays

(credit: Matt Nipper, Erie, Sunday, April 11)

That first photo shows sunlight shining through the low saddles between several peaks in the Indian Peaks Wilderness: Mt Audobon (left; 13,229 feet), Sawtooth Mountain (right of center; 12,304 feet), and Pt. 12,391 (so-named after its elevation) a.k.a. Red Deer Mountain.

Crepuscular rays form when the sun has set behind an irregularly shaped cloud or mountain, and can point either up or down through the sky.

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(credit: Matt Nipper, Erie, Sunday, April 11)

Crepuscular rays along the Front Range are most commonly seen during the late afternoon or early evening, and are commonly associated with thunderstorms.

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sunset crepuscular rays

(credit: Todd Moffatt, Boyd Lake in Loveland, April 11)

Clouds help scatter sunlight, creating beams of light.

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Anica Padilla