Asturias, Spain Sun Pillar

July 24, 2008

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Provided by: Gabriel Gutierrez-Alonso, Universidad de Salamanca (Spain)
Summary Author and Editor: Gabriel Gutierrez-Alonso, Jim Foster

The photo above showing an enchanting Sun pillar was captured from a small village near Asturias in northwestern Spain on August 7, 2004. Soon after the solar disk dipped below the horizon this magenta colored spear of light appeared above where the Sun just set. On occasion, plates of horizontally stacked and hexagonally shaped ice crystals in the Earth's atmosphere reflect the Sun's rays in such a way to form vertical shafts of light or pillars.