|Lower sun pillar Sutherland's
Lake, Springhill, Nova Scotia. An
unusually bright pillar extending downward from a 9º high sun.
The sun's disk is partly visible at the lower edge of the dark cloud.
Shaun Lowe (more
of his images) saw the pillar on 30th December '02. Later
at sunset he imaged a beautiful upper
Shaun Lowe, shown with permission.
A complete sun pillar halo extends below
the sun as well as upwards but we have to look harder for the "lower
pillar" component. It is occasionally visible when the sun is
a few degrees high and shielded by a cloud.
Spectacular lower pillars are often visible when looking downward
into icy cloud or mist. Search shortly after sunrise or before sunset
from a hill or mountainside or from an aeroplane.
The lower pillars in mountain valleys are best after dawn when the
valley is filled by an ice fog after a very cold and clear night.
'Diamond dust' crystals floating in clear
air on very cold days make sparkling lower pillars. Ski
slopes provide just the opportunity to see them. They are sometimes
visible at ground level against a backdrop
of a dark building or shadowed snow.