Upper and Lower Lunar Pillars

March 12, 2005


Provided by: Thomas Herrmann
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster; Thomas Herrmann

The photo above showing both an upper and lower lunar pillar was taken from near Sulzbach, Germany. Leaving work on the night of January 25, 2005, I noticed pillars accenting the full Moon, and upon arriving home and retieving my camera, I was gratified that they were still there. Pillars are typically caused by the reflection of light off the bases of oriented, hexagonal plate-shaped crystals. Unless the light source is nearby, such as from a street light, the crystals need to be slightly tipped toward the viewer in order to be seen.

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