Atmospheric Optics    

(Click on the images below for individual galleries)


Sun Pillars, Moon Pillars and Artificial Light Pillars

Sun and Moon Pillars are seen when the Sun or Moon are low in the sky either rising or setting.  Artificial Light Pillars are usually visible during periods of extreme cold, when low level ice crystal formations are favourable.  Horizontal plate type ice crystals in the atmosphere are responsible for the formation of most pillars.

Sun Pillars, Moon Pillars and Artificial Light Pillars  -  Lauri A. Kangas


Crepuscular Rays

Crepuscular Rays are parallel rays of sunlight and shadows made apparent due to airborne particulate matter in the lower atmosphere.  They can be formed by a number of causes including water droplets, pollen and dust.

 Crepuscular Rays -  Lauri A. Kangas


Halos, Parry Arcs, Circumzenithal Arcs, Sundogs and Moondogs

Halos around the Sun and Moon are caused by millions of ice crystals in the atmosphere at an altitude between 5 to10 km high. 

Halos, Parry Arcs, Circumzenithal Arcs, Sundogs and Moondogs -  Lauri A. Kangas


Clouds and Other Phenomena

Rainbows, coronae, and various cloud images.

Clouds and Other Phenomena -  Lauri A. Kangas


Click here for Les Cowley's Amazing Atmospheric Optics Website