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.


Artichoke Annie said...

Beautiful, thank you for sharing.


writenow said...

You're welcome. Always. K