sun pillar

Here at IRF I am always looking out the window - every few minutes, if I can.  While I tend to glance at the daily forecasts for polar stratospheric clouds, aurora borealis, and tropospheric weather, you never know what you'll see that cannot be predicted, like this sun pillar I noticed last week.  A solar pillar is created when ice crystals whose surfaces are nearly horizontal reflect sunlight.  In the twenty-five days I have been in Sweden, I have yet to see the actual sun.  Any day now!


  1. on my walk home the other night the temperature was around minus twenty and i noticed a sun pillar on the western horizon. i ran to try to get to the farmer's fields where the view was unobstructed and from which i could take a photograph. of course it had shrunk quite a bit and i watched it fade into a tangerine skyfield. your photograph is beautiful. steven

  2. Cool! A sun pillar kind of reminds me of an arctic mirage... When warm air basically sits on top of cool air within your line of sight, causing light waves to bend downward. The images seem to appear much higher than they actually are.I'm convinced this happened the other morning with an island about 15 miles from looked SO CLOSE.

  3. oh, neat - I hadn't heard of that.


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