Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sun Pillar


April 14, 2007, 5:48 A.M.
Two years ago while on my way to a Master Naturalist training session I spotted this Sun Pillar shooting up from the sun as it rose to start the day. Quickly I pulled off to the side of the road and began taking photos. Most of the photos were blurry because I was so excited to see the pillar that I could hardly stand still. It was an early morning in April, the air was crisp, and a new day of learning natural history lay ahead. This was a good omen.


April 14, 2007, 5:48 A.M.


Sun Pillars are a little like Sun Dogs, in that they are both sunlight reflections from the surfaces of ice crystals but the Sun Pillar is, well, a pillar. Not that a sun dog is a dog but…well, you know what I mean. It is a vertical column of light coming up or going down from the sun. I saw this one at sunrise but they can also be found at sunset. It looks like a fat sun ray but really it is a collection of reflections or glints of millions of ice crystals. This sun pillar is yellow but they can be white, red or even purple depending on the colors of the sun and clouds. Pretty cool, uh.


See and read more at Sky Watch Friday.

22 comments:

Gwendolyn said...

Thanks for sharing the history lesson. I am glad you stopped to catch this picture. It is marvelous. Thanks.

Diane AZ said...

I'd never heard of a sun pillar before, but it sure would be exciting to see one. Your images are beautiful.

Eve said...

Those are gorgeous! I don't think I've ever seen a sun pillar.

Deborah Godin said...

Wonderful photograph, and the next best thing to being there!!

Sylvia K said...

Stunning shot! I've heard of them, but never seen one. This is definitely the next best thing!! Gorgeous colors and I really appreciate the info, too.

Have a great weekend!

Sylvia

Riet said...

Beautiful pictures. I don't exactly know what a sun pillar is but it is certainly very special.

Elisabeth said...

Very cool, indeed. A couple of years ago, I caught a pink pillar at sunset. Had to run out and shoot fast. Only got two shots. What a wonderful experience! One to be remembered for sure. You did good and were a quick shooter. Fabulous...a success!

Jane said...

Great shot of one, lovely colours too. Have a great weekend, thanks for sharing:)

Daryl said...

Lovely .. both..

Eaglesbrother said...

Always great to have the camera handy..great capture of a very unusual occurance.
We have only ever seen one here and it sure was a beauty.

LV said...

You have a very nice post for today's Sky Watch. Your pictures are very well done and so pretty. I also learned things I did not know about sun pillars.

Lew said...

Beautiful! It is surprising how bright the reflection can be.

Lene said...

I have never seen a sunpilar before. Amazing and beautiful :)

Have a great weekend.

Terrebel said...

WOW! *Mouthdropping*

Terrence looks at the sky

J Bar said...

Fantastic shots.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

~Cheryl said...

Yes, very cool photos! Good thing your camera is always by your side and ready to go. I didn't notice any blurriness, just fabulous colors! Enjoy your weekend!

Small City Scenes said...

Awesome shot. I love recording anything that strays from the norm. Good job. MB

Samson said...

Gorgeous photo's... i'm glad you stopped by to take the photo's....

Have a great weekend

Blessing Reflections said...

These are gorgeous photos! The color is just stunning..

Lorac said...

I too would have been excited! Beautiful shots. Well done!

:: flyingstars :: said...

simply beautifully captured shots...lovely!

StrasserTalk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.