Light Pillars Over Alaska

LightPillars_Libby_960

What’s happening behind those houses? Pictured here are not auroras but nearby light pillars, a nearby phenomenon that can appear as a distant one. In most places on Earth, a lucky viewer can see a Sun-pillar, a column of light appearing to extend up from the Sun caused by flat fluttering ice-crystals reflecting sunlight from the upper atmosphere. Usually these ice crystals evaporate before reaching the ground. During freezing temperatures, however, flat fluttering ice crystals may form near the ground in a form of light snow, sometimes known as a crystal fog. These ice crystals may then reflect ground lights in columns not unlike a Sun-pillar. The featured image was taken in Fort Wainwright near Fairbanks in central Alaska.” (APOD)

Stunning photograph by Allisha Libby, featured today on APOD. It’s such a shame how there are so many natural phenomena that so few people get to see and experience in real life. Although photographs and the internet have made every inch of our world (and beyond) accessible, it must be truly incredible to witness something like light pillars naturally.

Beautiful picture. Onwards!

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