Friday, February 23, 2018

VERY RARE LIGHT PILLAR IN HAWAII Taken by Frankie Lucena on February 13, 2018 @ Gemini Observatory/AURA in Hawaii

This light pillar was captured on the night of February 13/14, 2018. The Gemini skycam was facing south from the top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. I was searching for thunderstorms and just happened to come across this rarely seen event in this part of the world. Light pillars usually occur in cold climates like Canada so to see them this far south is indeed very rare.

I emailed Les Crowley and here is what he says:

Hi Frankie,

!!!! Very nice.

These high altitude light pillars/reflections need a thin cloud layer containing large oriented plate shaped ice crystals. Altostratus/cumulus clouds have these and that is likely what we have here. You dont need Arctic locations or freezing temperatures at ground level. Nonetheless, I do not recall seeing examples of these so far south or in a location like Hawaii. So yes, (very) rare!

All the best,

Here is the video:

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