||Diamond Dust Pillars.
Below the sun (ignore the six-spiked lens flare) a glittering
lower sun pillar is formed by "diamond
dust" ice crystals floating in freezing cold air just a
few feet from the camera. Their sparkles demonstrate that halos
are indeed made up of the collective glitters from myriad individual
The brightest area of the lower pillar is actually an elongated
subsun. When, as here, the sun is near
to the horizon and the crystals have large tilts, the lower
sun pillar and the subsun merge together.
There is a small upper pillar above the sun. A tall bright
diamond dust sundog was also present.
David van Unen (more
of his images) captured this halo shortly before sunset
on January 21, 2003 at Fort St. John, B.C., Canada.
©2003 David J van Unen, shown with