Light pillars over Whitefish Bay

When there are ice crystals in the air around you, you might see light pillars. They’re the result of light reflecting from the crystals suspended in the air or clouds.

Suspended light pillars over Whitefish Bay in Michigan, via Vincent Brady Nocturnal Photography.

Vincent Brady posted this beautiful photo to EarthSky Facebook this week. He wrote:

I was looking for auroras, but was pleasantly surprised to see light pillars early Tuesday morning, October 16, 2018. This is a shot north of Paradise, Michigan, looking east over Whitefish Bay toward Wisconsin. The red lights are around the Canadian island Ile Parisienne and wind turbines.

Light pillars are caused by ice crystals in the atmosphere reflecting and refracting light from artificial light sources.

Read more: What is a sun pillar, or light pillar?

Bottom line: Suspended light pillars over Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, October 16, 2018.

The 2019 lunar calendars are here! Order yours before they’re gone. Makes a great gift.

Deborah Byrd