The Strange Phenomena of Sun Pillars

The MarkoZen Blog

I was listening to a science show the other day and came across this weirdness. The scientist said most people have witnessed this. Not sure where he was coming from, but I have never seen one, or even heard about them.

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Sun Pillar over Antarctica

A light pillar is an atmospheric optical phenomenon in the form of a vertical band of light which appears to extend above and/or below a light source. The effect is created by the reflection of light from numerous tiny ice crystal suspended in the atmosphere or clouds. The light can come from the Sun (usually when it is near or even below the horizon) in which case the phenomenon is called a sun pillar or solar pillar. It can also come from the Moon or from terrestrial sources such as streetlights.

Light Pillars over North Bay, Ontario

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Since they are caused by the interaction of light with ice crystals, light…

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