Venusian Pillar Another Hungarian optical effect (1,2,3). Imaged by Erno Berkó at Ludanyhalaszi , February 15th. Image ©Ernő Berkó shown with permission.


Pillars can in principle be seen above and below any light source provided it is bright enough. Venus just meets that requirement and here produces rare pillars.

Ernő used a 10s exposure with a Canon 350D and 70mm f2.8 lens. The image is as taken with no enhancement.

The upper and lower pillars are short but nonetheless impressive. Each was about 0.4° long and would be covered by the width of a thumb at arms length.

Cloud plate-shaped ice crystals produced the pillars by reflecting the light from Venus off their large hexagonal faces towards the eye and camera. The pillars are the collective glints of may crystals rather than vertical shafts of light.

Atmospheric
Optics

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