Sun Pillar Over Punta Secca, Sicily

July 18, 2019

Sun pillar dida

Photographer: Marcella Giulia Pace
Summary Authors: Marcella Giulia Pace; Jim Foster

As shown above, a pillar of light rises from the Capo Scaramia lighthouse, in the far distance, in Punta Secca, Sicily, Italy. The beam is clearly visible in this photo sequence both when the Sun is just below and just above the horizon. Sun pillars result from the reflection of sunlight off myriad ice crystals that are more or less stacked horizontally, either suspended in the atmosphere or composing cirrus clouds. For the pillar to be visible, however, the crystals need to be slightly tilted in the direction of the observer.

Note that this area of Sicily is known for the "Commissario Montalbano" TV series. Photos taken on May 8, 2019.