Light pillars in Alberta: Photographer captures rare natural phenomenon

Light pillars in Alberta: Photographer captures rare natural phenomenon
Light pillars in Alberta: Photographer captures rare natural phenomenon

Canada has incredibly beautiful and diverse skies even on the worst of days, like when we are faced with extreme cold. According to The Weather Network, extremely cold temperatures, like what all of Canada has been experiencing, brings with it an incredibly beautiful light show for those who are brave enough to venture into the cold. In a few Canadian cities, jaw-dropping, magical light pillars have been making their presence known through a one of a kind light show.

According to The Weather Network, light pillars are very rare to see. These vertical beams are formed through an optical illusion that becomes noticeable when tiny ice crystals are suspended in the air near the ground. These ice crystals then reflect all kinds of light including sunlight, moonlight, or streetlight in the form of these breathtaking pillars.

“The flat edges of the small crystals act as mirrors to reflect the light, and the resulting beams are the collective reflections and are more pronounced when the ice crystals are larger in size,” writes The Weather Network.

Some lucky Alberta and Manitoba residents have been able to see these incredible light pillars in their own cities this winter. Thankfully we live in a time where social media reigns supreme and we can all enjoy the light show!

Many photographers and Instagrammers have been posting their epic pictures to the internet to show us what we are missing while we try to keep warm under a mound of blankets. Cities like Blackfalds and Hendrickson Creek, Alberta have been lucky enough to get this once in a lifetime view.

Some cities in Manitoba have also been touched by this natural phenomena.

One photographer in Blackfalds, Alberta braved -42° C temperatures to take a pretty stunning picture of the light pillars. According to their Instagram post, they woke up just after 2:30 AM to the pleasant surprise of these pillars. After putting on three layers of clothes, they were out the door with their camera. We think it was totally worth it!

While these cities are extremely lucky to view these light pillars, they only happen because it is so cold in these cities. The Weather Network has stated that in order for these ice crystals to form and reflect light, they require dense, cold air. The recent conditions in Alberta and Manitoba are literally the perfect set up for this light show because it’s just that cold!

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