Rare Cold Weather Phenomenon Displays Mesmerizing Light Pillars in the Sky

Standing around in cold, dipping temperatures may not sound like an ideal situation to be in, but incredible atmospheric phenomena can actually form in the sky thanks to falling temperatures, leading to some stunning visuals.  When the thermometer shows numbers that are close to freezing, flat, hexagon-shaped ice crystals are able to manifest in the air. Once enough of these crystals appear, they can reflect bright light sources (like the sun or street lamps), essentially bounce the light back down to us, and create a light pillar in the sky. This specific type of reflection is what makes light pillars different from sun dogs–though both are part of the halo family–since sun dogs reflect light to the side instead of downward.

During the day, light pillars most likely occur as the sun is setting and are referred to as sun pillars. At night, this phenomenon looks even more interesting and out of place, which would explain why light pillars are the source of many UFO reports. However, though they may look a bit unusual, light pillars are actually quite rare and perfectly display the beauty of our atmosphere.

Above photo via Eventarian

Photo via Mybackwardswalk

Photo via u_sofronov

Photo via Ronn & Marketa Murray

Photo via Mia Heikkil

Photo via Christoph Geisler

Photo via Adam Kraft

Photo via Adam Kraft

Photo via NASA

Photo via Tristan Greszko

Photo via Joey Holliday

Photo via James Sawatzky

Photo via Dainis Poikans

Photo via Sonia Afonso

November 29, 2016

Klimt-Inspired Golden Map of Manhattan Celebrates the Bright Lights of New York at Night

Though designer Rafael Esquer has lived in New York City for 20 years, he’s still in awe of its bright lights and buzzing nightlife. As the founder of Alfalfa Studio, a branding and graphic design house based in Lower Manhattan, he creates pieces inspired by his enlightening experiences in the Big Apple. His latest project, a shimmering map entitled Iconic New York Illuminated, captures the magic of Manhattan after dark.

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