Fragmented Pillar, Bad Koenig, Germany An image by Florian Schaaf (his green flash) from the 11th floor of a building. ©Florian Schaaf, shown with permission.

In complex cloudy skies we oftentimes glimpse sun pillars as vertically strung fragments.

Unlike other halos, pillars generated from plate-like crystals (other crystals make them 1,2) require neither perfection nor good horizontal alignment, in fact the more wobbly the plates the better. Provided there are sufficient horizontal surfaces, even snow crystals make them.


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