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Beautiful photos from January 2017 in North Bay, Ontario, where a photographer captured amazing beams of coloured light shooting up into the sky.

Light pillars appear in icy Canadian town, see the photos

Leeanna McLean
Digital Reporter

Thursday, January 12, 2017, 5:26 PM - Colourful light beams filled the sky in North Bay, Ontario last Friday and photographer Timothy Joe Elzinga managed to capture the rare weather phenomenon on camera.

"We can blame the two-year-old," Elzinga told CBC. "He started crying at 1:30 a.m., so I got up and soothed him... and out the window I had the perfect view of these dancing lights in the sky."

Curious, the North Bay resident ran outside and snapped a few photos of the dazzling display.

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While the photo (below) may look like a scene out of Star Trek, the beams are actually called light pillars.


"Light pillars are an atmospheric phenomena created when tiny ice crystals reflect either natural (sun or moon) or artificial light (such as streetlights)," says The Weather Network meteorologist Erin Wenckstern. "This type of ice crystal is flat and hexagonal in shape, and when they are suspended in the air, together they act like a gigantic mirror, reflecting the light source upwards or downwards."

They are known to appear during extremely cold nights, when ice crystals form closer to the ground, rather than high up in the atmosphere, adds Wenckstern.

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"It was very bright in person, like nothing I've ever seen," Elzinga told CBC. "It almost seemed supernatural."


WATCH BELOW: Ice circle forms, spins on local river

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