Sunrise Sequence from Budapest, Hungary

January 01, 2011

Photographer: : Zsófia Biró
Summary Author: Zsófia Biró; Jim Foster

The photo sequence above heralding the rising Sun was captured from Budapest, Hungary on November 25, 2010. A Sun pillar adds a bit of panache to this lovely magenta sunup. Pillars form when plate shaped, hexagonal ice crystals, floating directly between the viewer and the setting or rising Sun, reflect sunlight off their bottom (in this case) surfaces. However, the crystals must be similarly aligned and slightly tipped or wobbling in order for the viewer to see a columnar shaft of light. Note also the mirage (double Suns) in frames six, seven and eight. If the lowest layers of the atmosphere vary appreciably in temperature/density, multiple “Suns” may appear as sunlight is refracted through these layers. Make sure to protect your eyes when looking toward the Sun.