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Credit: F. Anderson

An example of light pillars in Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories on the winter solstice, December 2010. The pillars appear to rise vertically above bright, exposed light sources but are caused by ice crystals in the atmosphere between the viewer and the light source. They seem to converge because of the optics used and perspective effects. In the distance is the partially eclipsed moon and an aurora.

Another example of flared light pillars with some explanation of the physics creating the phenomenon.




UVic / SEOS / Climate Group / About Front Page Picture / Light Pillars over Tuktoyaktuk Last updated: Monday, 03-Jan-2011 10:33:56 PST
Permission for this image was granted by the creator via a creative commons license. See this link at flickr for more information.