Vertical beams of bright light, reminiscent of columns, were captured by sleepless Russians over the past weeks, and the stunning images were quickly shared on social media.
‘Light pillars’ in the central city of Rostov stirred controversy with some people coming up with mystical explanations for the occurrence. Experts were quick enough to dispel those myths though, saying it’s nothing but an atmospheric optical illusion.
“Friday afternoon saw a rise in temperature and then there was a sharp fall down to minus 14 degrees Celsius at night. The air was humid and then the water started to crystalize. Basically, pieces of ice or snowflakes started to form in the air,” Oleg Stepanyan, a member of the Russian Academy of Science said, according to RIA Novosti.
The phenomenon occurs when natural or artificial light is reflected from ice crystals floating close to the ground. Which is exactly what happened earlier this week in the city of Togliatti.
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