17 Jul '11, 11am

Light Pillars: Amazing Natural Phenomenon

Light Pillars: Amazing Natural Phenomenon

Photo credit: National Geographic From a distance, it looks like someone spared no expense to put on a spectacular, colorful light show that can be seen from miles away. But these strange columns of light that often confound onlookers are actually caused by the combined forces of light and falling ice crystals. Photo credit: Walter Tape Usually seen only in polar regions, light pillars – as this phenomenon is called – result when natural or artificial light bounces off ice crystals as they waft to the ground. When the light source is close to the ground, the pillars appear above the floating crystals. When the light is coming from the sun or moon, the pillars appear beneath the crystals. Photo credit: National Geographic The height and brightness of light pillars depends upon the shape of the ice crystals. Crystals with plate or column shapes produce the most stunning effe...

Full article: http://earthfirst.com/light-pillars-amazing-natural-pheno...

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