Someone’s about to be beamed up -- or so it looks. Captured at sunset near Jenison, Mich. on April 10, 2012, this mysterious ray of light is actually a Sun pillar. These result from the reflection of sunlight off the bottom surfaces (or less frequently, the top surfaces) of plate-shaped ice crystals composing cirrus clouds. These crystals must be similarly oriented and slightly tipped with respect to the viewer in order for a pillar to be observed. The crimson shaft piercing the purple sky made this sunset unforgettable.
Visit Website | Image credit: Kevin Povenz