Sun Pillar Over Lourinhã, Portugal

June 14, 2018

Pillar_20180416-Pilares-de-Luz

Photographer: Paulo P. Pereira
Summary Authors: Paulo P. Pereira; Jim Foster

One afternoon earlier in the spring I noticed this striking Sun pillar on the western horizon. It was visible for more than 30 minutes. After the Sun had set it turned red and pink (lower right photo). If ice crystals are stacked horizontally in cirrus clouds and tipped in the direction of the viewer, then the Sun's waning light is reflected in the form of a column or spike. Note also the extended sundogs on either side of the pillar, approximately 22 degrees from it and the position of the Sun. Photo taken on April 16, 2018.