TORONTO – It’s cold and it doesn’t seem to be going away. But at least it’s pretty.
Jay Callaghan, a photographer from Peterborough, Ont., captured beautiful light pillars early Tuesday morning as temperatures dipped to near -12 C.
“They were visible to the naked eye,” Callaghan told Global News. “But the camera, as with the Northern Lights, picks up more colours, especially on a 15-second exposure like these were.”
Light pillars are one of winter’s gifts, an almost apologetic gesture for the biting cold. And they can be stunning.
They are created when plate-shaped ice crystals are present close to the ground, rather than higher up in the atmosphere where they normally reside. Though it looks like the light is being sent upward, the crystals are actually sending the light back down.
Dave Patrick, a storm chaser also photographed the phenomenon on Feb. 15 in Fergus, Ont.
Though the light pillars are beautiful, they are the consequences of light pollution, light that is reflected up into the sky rather than down below where it is needed.