21 March 2010

A sun pillar

The vertical column of light is created when sunlight reflects/refracts off ice crystals in the atmosphere.  I posted a collection of such photos last year.  The one above is a recent Astronomy Photo of the Day.


  1. Cool!! I spotted one of these about a month ago while traveling through the countryside near Huntsville, AL. It was late afternoon and the sun was low in the sky and hardly visible behind the top of some hills. There was the pillar rising up above the edge of the hills. It was magnificent. Unfortunately, no camera.

    I've been on a quest for sundogs (parhelia) and other atmospheric phenomena such as pillars and halos for some time now. The Atmospheric Optics website has great information and photos. Thanks for posting this.

  2. wow, a whole week off... hope to see your posts again soon.


  3. Starting to get concerned...hope all is well!

  4. ei - your answer is contained in this explanatory post:


  5. AH! And here I thought I was all caught up on reading here...missed a page somehow. Well, I'm glad all is well and I look forward to your more infrequent but always fascinating posts...

  6. The inspiration for the Pillar of Fire? Or, more likely, the fiery Shiva Linga, that the phallic looking stone versions are said to ultimately recall?


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