Norway's news in English

Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Rare light phenomenon spotted in Oslo skies

Share this article

Rare light phenomenon spotted in Oslo skies
Photo: Tore Meek / NTB scanpix
10:17 CET+01:00
Several places in Oslo witnessed rare and beautiful light pillars in the sky on Wednesday night.
“This is an optical phenomenon. Ice crystals in the air reflected light from the city, forming thin light pillars,” Terje Alsvik Walløe from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (MET Norway) said.
Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB Scanpix
Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB Scanpix
Light pillars form when there are very cold conditions and humid air. The vertical shafts of light extend from a bright light source, in this case Oslo’s city lights. 
“It is not very common. The moisture forms a special kind of ice crystals that are suspended in the air. They have flat surfaces that allow the light to gather in this way,” Walløe said. 
MET Norway said there were no reports of light pillars elsewhere in the country on Wednesday, but the phenomenon was also spotted in the Swedish capital of Stockholm.
Upward-extending light pillars and downward-extending sun pillars are often thought to be behind false claims of UFO sightings. 

Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB Scanpix
Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

From our sponsors

Get a month's worth of your favourite newspapers and magazines - for free

Readly - the 'Spotify of magazines' - is offering readers of The Local a free month's worth of unlimited all-you-can-read magazines. All you need to do is answer one quick question.