Expired News - Rare pillar lights appear in Alberta skies - The Weather Network
Your weather when it really mattersTM

Country

Please choose your default site

Americas

Asia - Pacific

Europe

News
MAGIC OF NATURE | Optical illusion

Rare pillar lights appear in Alberta skies


Isabella O'Malley
Digital Writer/Climate Change Reporter

Sunday, February 10, 2019, 4:44 PM - Alberta's freezing temperatures have been the dominant weather story for the region this winter, but a rare occurrence inspired some to venture outdoors in temperatures below minus 40oC to see this stunning atmospheric phenomenon.

On February 10, 2019 Dan Tanner posted this image of the rare pillar lights to Twitter, which show the special early morning light show in Blackfalds, Alberta. 

These vertical beams are an optical illusion that appear when tiny ice crystals are suspended in the air near the ground and reflect light, such as sunlight, moonlight, or streetlights.

The flat edges of the small crystals acts as mirrors to reflect the light, and the resulting beams are the collective reflections, and are more pronounced when the ice crystals are larger in size. 



Ice crystals require dense, cold air to form, and the recent conditions provided the perfect set up for this light show, as the coldest spot in Canada was Hendrickson Creek, Alberta, which reached minus 44oC on February 9, and most of the province remains in an extreme cold weather alert.

WATCH BELOW: BRILLIANT 'LIGHT PILLARS' CAPTURED IN NORTHERN ONTARIO



Alberta: Feeling cold as -50 with wind chill, extreme cold
What seeing 'nature's true magic' really feels like
What caused these rare 'ghost apples' to form?
Woman has emotional reunion with dog lost after avalanche
Default saved
Close

Search Location

Close

Sign In

Please sign in to use this feature.