Light pillars over Alaska

The eerie sight in the photo is perfectly natural, being caused by the interaction between ice crystals drifting downwards through the air during a night ruled by Father Frost and lights pointing upwards from the human dwellings below, which pick out the tumbling crystals as though they were searchlights. They are the ground to sky equivalent of sun pillars which form the same way as sunlight meets ice crystals high up in the air, but on cold nights the ice crystals form much closer to the ground and can be picked out by human lights.


Image credit: Allisha Libby via EPOD