A lot of spectacular things happen at night, and luckily there is someone to capture them while we’re sleeping tight in our beds. Photographer Timothy Joseph Elzinga was recently woken up by his 2-year-old boy Gibson at 1:30 a.m. when his son spotted beautiful color lights dancing in the sky. Timothy quickly picked up his camera and shot some amazing photos of what he later realized is a phenomenon, called “light pillars.”
“I thought it was The Northern Lights because we live in Canada,” Elzinga said. “It was a super clear night, you could see everything. These lights were [shooting] into the sky, blasting hundreds of feet in the air, and they were shimmering and moving.”
A light pillar is an atmospheric optical phenomenon, which is an interaction of light with ice crystals. When the temperature drops and these crystals position themselves horizontally as they fall through the air, they act as “vessels” for light, shooting it upwards.