In the night between 23rd and 24th of January 2015, the scenary in Kuusamo, Finland was just like in a fantasy world! There was lots of snow and trees wee covered in thick layer of frost! The sky was cloudy, and some ice crystals were raining from the stratus -clouds hanging at low level.
The snow crystals were of dendritic hexagonic type, which means that those crystals were not very good halo making crystals. Only halo form that they can produce, is a sun pillar, or in this case, a street light pillar. And there were pillars! Lots of pillars in every direction! And the pillars were very tall, tallest of them were reaching zenith, and it seemed as if they were converging near the zenith because of the perspective -phenomena!The pillars are formed, when light from the street lights (or Sun) is reflecting from the upper- and lower surfaces of the ice crystals to form a pillar of light above and sometimes also below the source of light.
Temperature was about -17 °C. It was absolutely stunning! And I was the only witness of this wonderful natural display, I couldn’t see any other people in the town that night!
The ice crystals on that night came in all possible froms and shapes, and many of them were resembling much the snowflakes made familiar by the classic work of Wilson Bentley in 1902.
Photos showing the magnificent display of street light pillars in quite exotic circumstances in the night 23./24.1.2015 in Kuusamo, Finland: