Rare light phenomenon spotted in Oslo skies

NTB/The Local
NTB/The Local - [email protected] • 7 Jan, 2016 Updated Thu 7 Jan 2016 10:17 CEST
image alt text

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

More

Comments

NTB/The Local 2016/01/07 10:17

Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also