Light pillars light up the night sky


FELLOWSVILLE, W.Va. – An unusual optical phenomenon was caught in Fellowsville in Preston County Wednesday night. This is called a light pillar.

Picture: Hanna Wine

According to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a light pillar (or sun pillar during the day) is when “light reflects off the surfaces of falling ice crystals associated with thin, high-level clouds”.

Hexagonal plate-like ice crystals then fall horizontally as they rock from side to side.

Areas of brightness appear in the sky as light is reflected off of these tipped ice crystals.

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