Light Columns, Hungary

Seen by Rafael Schmall about 10 km from Kaposvár, the source of the lights creating the columns high in the sky. The temperature was -2 Celsius.     ©Rafael Schmall.
About - Submit Optics Picture of the Day Galleries Previous Next Today Subscribe to Features on RSS Feed
Complete light pillars stretch upwards from the lamps creating them. These ones are unusual in that they are short columns high in the air.

Both types are an illusion! There is no upward beam of light. Untold millions of wobbly flat plate crystals individually glint light towards the eye. The glinting crystals are roughly half way towards the lights.

the short columns pictured by Rafael Schmall were produced by a discrete layer of ice crystals in the atmosphere.