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Astronomy Picture of the Day: A Sun Pillar over Norway

Astronomy Picture of the Day: A Sun Pillar over Norway


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A Sun Pillar over Norway
Image Credit: Thorleif Rødland

Explanation: Have you ever seen a sun pillar? When the air is cold and the Sun is rising or setting, falling ice crystals can reflect sunlight and create an unusual column of light. Ice sometimes forms flat, six-sided shaped crystals as it falls from high-level clouds. Air resistance causes these crystals to lie nearly flat much of the time as they flutter to the ground. Sunlight reflects off crystals that are properly aligned, creating the sun-sun-pillar effect. In the featured picture taken last week, a sun-pillar reflects light from a Sun setting over Fensfjorden, Norway.

Source: NASA


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