Light Pillars over Whitefish Bay

Unusual lights appeared last week to hover above Whitefish Bay on the eastern edge of Lake Superior between the USA and Canada.

Image Credit & Copyright: Vincent Brady



Unsure of the cause, the Michigan-based astrophotographer switched camera lenses — from fisheye to telephoto — and soon realized he was seeing light pillars: vertical lines of light over a ground source that reflect from falling ice crystals. As the ground temperature was above freezing, the flat crystals likely melted as they approached the ground, creating a lower end to the vertical light pillars. The red ground lights originated from wind turbines on Ile Parisienne, a Canadian Island visible across the bay.

source APOD