Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

273,914 subscribers and counting ...

Sun pillar at Vancouver Island

Sun pillars happen when sunlight reflects from plate-like ice crystals, drifting through Earth’s atmosphere with a horizontal orientation, gently rocking from side to side as they fall.

Photo taken March 12, 2018, by Wally Roth, near Lantzville, British Columbia.

Wally Roth at Sebastian Beach – about midway up Vancouver Island, in British Columbia – caught this image before sunrise Monday morning.

The vertical beam of light is called a sun pillar or light pillar. Wally wrote:

I took this image of the dawn sky a full 13 minutes before the sun peeked over the horizon.

Thanks, Wally!

Deborah Byrd

MORE ARTICLES

EarthSky Newsletter

Nearly half a million daily subscribers love our newsletter. What are you waiting for? Sign up today!

Join now to receive free daily science news delivered straight to your email.