At natural events as beautiful as this one, you have to know how to capture the moment, especially for a photo. That’s exactly what Sophie Melanson did when she saw pillars of multicolored light in the skies of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, on the night of Friday to Saturday, December 30, 2017. Her first photos were taken before she went to bed around midnight, then she was lucky enough to pick up when she woke up the next morning at around 6am.


Photo credit: Sophie Melanson

Indeed, thewomanpostedher photos on FacebookandTwitterwheretheyweresharedhundredsoftimes.

Solarpillarsalsocalledlightcolumns, likethese, are a rare opticalphenomenonthatformswhenlightisreflected in thetinyicecrystals in theatmosphere.Theythentakethecolorofthelight source theyreflect. In the case ofMelanson, theblueprobably came fromblueLEDstreetlightsandotherartificiallights in thecity. For thepillarstobeginappearing, theconditions mustbeveryspecific, accordingtoAccuweather.Theweathermustbecalm, cold, andtherecannotbemuchwind. For solarpillarstobe visible, icecrystalsmustberelatively close totheground. Sophie Melansonsaidthetemperaturethatnightwasaround -13 ° C with a sensation of about -18 ° C.

Thewoman, ratherfortunate, saysthatthisisnotthefirsttimeshehashadtheopportunityto admire this type of show.Shehadalsoseenpillarstwo more timesduringthemonth: however, thesewerethebrightestofall.

Photo credit: Sophie Melanson

“I was about to go to bed and I usually look outside, just in case something magical happens in the sky,” she said.

Photo credit: Sophie Melanson

Melansonworks in webdevelopment, but sheisalso a photographer in hersparetime, whichallowedherto capture thisincredibleevent. In addition, Monctonis a growingCanadiancity but itslight pollution isstillquitelow, whichis an advantage for Sophie Melansonoftenenjoys a beautifulandclearsky for her photos.Shewasalso able to catch other unique atmospheric illusions.

“Sometimes we see halos of the moon or in the day, halos of sun (halo), where the aurora borealis when the conditions are perfect.”

All images in this article belongtoSophie Melanson.


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Pière J. Robin
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