Reflections of the Sun
|Updated June 01, 2013
At sunrise, when the atmosphere is cold, you can sometimes see a solar pillar, a vertical column of light.
Image: Photograph of Lake Norman, North Carolina (USA). At sunset, the cold air, ice crystals suspended reflect sunlight, forming a vertical column of light, called solar pillar. The red light of sunset illuminates the benches and Cirrus Altocumulus orbiting above. Image Therry Holdsclaw.
What could cause these black spokes?
The colors of the sunset when the sun is low on the horizon are due to light rays that pass through a thicker atmosphere to the horizon and vertically.
Image: Photograph of Lake Michigan. Credit & Copyright: Kurt Voigts