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Photographer's Note

Ice crystals glint fiercely in the sky of Stokkavatnet by Stavanger, Norway. Imaged Wednesday 20th January '10. The air temperature was minus 6° Celsius and the foreground lake frozen.

Upper pillars are created by rays reflected downwards from the lower faces of tilted crystals. In plate crystals of good quality, a significant number of pillar forming rays enter a side face, undergo total internal reflection an odd number of times from the upper and lower basal faces and then leave through the opposite side face. The refraction at the two faces is equal and so the pillar is not coloured. However, pillars adopt the colours of the incident sunlight which may be highly reddened.

Lower pillars form when light is reflected upwards from the topmost crystal face.

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Additional Photos by Amelia Heath (Ascot) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 40 W: 1 N: 77] (339)
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