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.