Mysterious light pillars form vertical columns of light beaming towards the sky

If you have ever been privy to the phenomenon of light pillars, then you know it is truly an amazing sight.

They appear when the weather is extremely cold and form vertical columns of light beaming directly towards the sky. Here a compilation of pillars of light for December 2015.

They sometimes look like multiple fireballs heading to the sky:

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The mysterious pillars of light phenomenon over Yekaterinburg on December 20, 2015. Photo: Alex Julia

They are created when light from the sun, moon, streetlamps, or any terrestrial source, reflects on the surface of a flat piece of ice crystal as shown in the diagram below:

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When the light source is close to the ground, the light pillar appears above the floating crystals.

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Light pillars in the night between 18 and 19 December 2015 at Sterlitamak. Photo: Stanislav Gilyazov

When the light comes from the sun or moon, the light pillar can appear beneath them, too, as the light refracts through the crystals.

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Again this eerie sky phenomenon over Sterlitamak. Photo: Stanislav Gilyazov

It is truly amazing!

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They change color according to their source over Sterlitamak. Photo: Stanislav Gilyazov

Light pillars typically scrape the night sky in polar regions.

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Is there a big party going on in this arctic Russian city? Photo taken on December 19, 2015 by Konstantin Lifanov

But sometimes the vertical columns of light appear along with frigid temperatures at lower latitudes.

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These light pillars look like dancing bodies in the night sky. Image shot on December 18, 2015 by Konstantin Lifanov
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These beams of light were captured with a green aurora on December 17, 2015 by Yuri Yaschenko
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Like a multicolor wall beaming to the sky over Izhevsk on December 18, 2015 by Egor Zagrebin
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And this amazing sight was caught over Perm on December 18, 2015 by Dmitry Frolov

What an awesome sky phenomenon!

Now discover pictures of another ice-crystal light phenomenon, a sun dog.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Meanwhile, 200 miles away in Lake Titicaca, divers have found a temple complex 20 meters (65 feet) under water that’s estimated to be over 1000 years old. Poopo had a mean depth of less than 10 feet. Translation? 1000 years ago, Titicaca was at least 65 feet lower than today and Poopo didn’t exist then either. Now let’s move on to the next blame it on global warming/climate change non-story.

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