Photographer Captures Rare Light Pillars as They Illuminate the Night Sky

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It was 1:30 a.m. when photographer Timothy Joseph Elzinga was woken up by his 2-year-old son after he noticed a collection of strange bright lights illuminating the nights sky above Northern Ontario, Canada. Amazed at what he saw Elzinga grabbed his camera and started snapping away, but little did he know how popular his photos would become.

He later learn't that the strange lights in the sky his son had spotted and woken him to see were a phenomenon known as “light pillars” which form when light reflects off of tiny ice crystals that are hovering in the sky, made possible by the freezing temperatures that Northern Ontario experiences during the winter.

The pillars get their vibrant array of colours and light from the homes, streets and traffic lights below them and as Elzinga watched and photographed they slowly changed colour with the surrounding environment. You can see more of Elzinga’s work over on YouTube as well as his Instagram.

He also shot a video of the phenomenon: