Baltimore Sun Pillar
September 02, 2006
On the morning of May 10, 2005, stunning sunrise pillars were observed throughout the Middle Atlantic states. The one featured above, piercing the blood red dawn, was taken north of Baltimore, Maryland. Pillars are caused by refraction and reflection of sunlight off of ice crystals (plate shaped hexagonal crystals ) in the faintly visible cloud layers above the Sun. Light is refracted through the underside of the plate crystal and then reflected off of the upper-side before exiting the way it entered, through the underside. See also the Earth Science Picture of the Day for July 8, 2005.