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sun pillar

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sun pillar

Postby Eschuette » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:35 pm

Hello,

I was hoping someone could help explain how the 'torch' effect in the picture below would occur? The picture was taken at sunrise over lake dillon recently and while trying to take a few pics I noticed the 'torch' coming up over Keystone. In real life it looked the same as in the picture and was very distinct from the surrounding light. It was very cool to see (as I have seen alot of other interesting lighting in the mtns but never this) either way. Thanks
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Last edited by Eschuette on Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Eric

"In short, there is a kind of supernatural beauty in these mountainous prospects which charms both the senses and the minds into a forgetfulness of oneself and of everything in the world" - Rousseau

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Re: mountain 'torch' question

Postby FCSquid » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:45 pm

I'm not sure that's really the sun you're looking at in that picture.

I think it may be this guy getting beamed up to the mothership:
http://www.aolnews.com/2011/02/08/ufo-phil-wants-to-put-a-pyramid-on-pikes-peak/
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
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Re: mountain 'torch' question

Postby Brian C » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:47 pm

FCSquid wrote:I'm not sure that's really the sun you're looking at in that picture.

I think it may be this guy getting beamed up to the mothership:
http://www.aolnews.com/2011/02/08/ufo-phil-wants-to-put-a-pyramid-on-pikes-peak/


Haha. That has to be it!
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Re: mountain 'torch' question

Postby Eschuette » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:55 pm

[/quote]"FCSquid"]I'm not sure that's really the sun you're looking at in that picture.

I think it may be this guy getting beamed up to the mothership:
[url]http://www.aolnews.com/2011/02/08/ufo-phil-wants-to-put-a-pyramid-on-pikes-peak/[/url][/quote]

Ha, that's why I like to seek out the advise of others, I have a hard time seeing the 'big picture'
Eric

"In short, there is a kind of supernatural beauty in these mountainous prospects which charms both the senses and the minds into a forgetfulness of oneself and of everything in the world" - Rousseau

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Re: mountain 'torch' question

Postby WKUDoc » Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:45 pm

I believe what you photographed is called a "sun pillar". It is caused by sunlight reflecting off the flat surface of ice crystals suspended in the air. It generally has to be quite cold for them to form. I've seen them on occasion in Tennessee (where I grew up) and Kentucky (where I currently reside) on really cold days. The conditions have to be just right for one as dramatic as in your photograph. I enjoy taking pictures of weather and celestial phenomena and have never seen a sun pillar quite that brilliant.

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Re: mountain 'torch' question

Postby skiwall » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:22 pm

WKUDoc wrote:I believe what you photographed is called a "sun pillar".


Yep, that's it. It's caused by the sun reflecting off of ice crystals. I got a super awesome photo of one in Steamboat last Thursday.
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Re: mountain 'torch' question

Postby ztop » Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:43 pm

Here's a good description of sun pillars from the Atmospheric Optics website. Good catch, Eric.
http://www.atoptics.co.uk/halo/pillar.htm

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Re: mountain 'torch' question

Postby Eschuette » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:24 am

Thank you all for the feedback! I had not heard of sun pillars before and it seems to have been lucky to have one in a pretty area. I guess the saying "I'd rather be lucky than good" still applies. Thanks again and happy trails!
Eric

"In short, there is a kind of supernatural beauty in these mountainous prospects which charms both the senses and the minds into a forgetfulness of oneself and of everything in the world" - Rousseau

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