What's New 
  Rays & Shadows
  Water Droplets
  Ice Halos
    Frequent Halos
      22° circular
      Tangent Arcs
        Lower Pillars
        About Pillars
          Plate pillars
          Column pillars
          Lowitz Pillars
        Moon Pillars
        Venus Pillars
        Light Pillars
        More Images
      Parhelic Circle
    Infrequent Halos
    Multiple Displays
    Other Worlds
    Observing Halos
  High Atmosphere
  Links & Resources
  Search - Index


  Lowitz crystal sun pillars 

Crystals with Lowitz orientations, i.e. ones taking all orientations about the nearly horizontalred rotation axis shown below, form sun pillars in addition to the rare Lowitz arcs.

The pillars arise for the very same reasons as those produced by column crystals. The combination of the two possible crystal rotations causes the prism end faces to have a greater probability of being nearly horizontal than being inclined at other angles.

Sunlight reflected off the end faces when they are nearly horizontal faces produces the pillars.


A sun pillar, sundogs and what at first sight looks like a 22° halo all produced by plate crystals with rare Lowitz orientations. The pillar and sundogs appear because the prism end faces of Lowitz oriented crystals are more likely to be nearly horizontal than be otherwise tilted. Lowitz pillars are tall even when the sun is moderately high. The almost circular halo is a combination of the upper and lower circular Lowitz arcs. HaloSim simulation. for a solar elevation of 1º.