December 18, 2013

Light pillars over Finland

This photo looks kind of Xmassy to me. I found it at NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day site. (Click the image for a larger version.) Here's NASA's description of the photo:
What's happening behind those houses? Pictured above are not aurora but nearby light pillars, a local 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. While going out to buy cat food, a quick thinking photographer captured the above light pillars extending up from bright parking lot lights in Oulu, Finland.

2 comments:

Artichoke Annie said...

Beautiful, thank you for sharing.

A.

writenow said...

You're welcome. Always. K