Upper & Lower Sun Pillars over the Cathedral of St. Michael, Veszprém, Hungary. Imaged 12th February by Tamás Ladányi (site, TWAN).

Recent days have seen frequent optical phenomena over Hungary: coronae around Venus and the Moon plus ice halo displays.

These upper and lower sun pillars were most probably produced by plate crystals.

Most pillars are generated by large and wobbly plates although surprisingly, column and Lowitz crystals also make them. Pillars appear like upward and downward shafts of light,but they are no such thing. They are the glints from millions of crystals whose large hexagonal facets are externally or internally reflecting sunlight towards the eye.

Pillars are not in themselves coloured, they take on the colour of the incident sunlight which ia usually reddened.


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