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Atmospheric  Phenomena :   Sun  Pillar

    This nice example of a sun pillar was observed on the evening of 16 July 2001 while I was setting up equipment for the Moon-Venus occultation the following day. The pillar extended more than 30 degrees upward from the horizon.  No sundogs were present, but this pillar became more and more pronounced as the sky grew darker and redder. Sun pillars result from the reflection of light by microscopic ice crystals in the air (see detailed explanation at  http://www.meteoros.de/englisch/ee08e.htm). Another phenomenon, a sundog, is seen here.

        Equipment: Nikon F100 with 35-135 mm Nikkor zoom and Fuji Superia 400 film. No special processing was performed beyond cropping and spotting dust specks in Photoshop.