Sub Pillar

September 07, 2003


Provided by: Christine Churchill
Summary authors & editors: Christine Churchill; Jim Foster

The above photo was taken in early June from Kenwood, California at 8:01 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time) and shows a distorted pillar beneath the Sun. Since the pillar is below the Sun, sunlight is reflecting off the top of ice crystals. Bases on computer simulations, this can usually only happen if the Sun is no more than about 6 degrees above the horizon, and the crystal faces are tilted between about 2 and 6 degrees toward the viewer. A Sony Mavica digital camera was used to capture the pillar.

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