Venus & Lunar Pillars
Morio Higashida (atmospheric optics site) at Osaka, Japan on 7th January '16.
Beneath the crescent moon is a small lower pillar. Venus 2.7°
away has tiny upper and lower pillars.
Images ©Morio Higashida, shown with permission
All light sources can generate pillars if suitable ice crystals are along the line of sight but those from stars are faint indeed. A challenge for photographers.
Most pillars are produced by reflection glints from the upper and lower hexagonal faces of wobbly plate-shaped ice crystals. More rarely, horizontal column crystals can make them.
The pillar is an illusion, there are no upward or downward beams of light.