Picture: Sun Pillar at sunset over green hills in Spring, Mount Diablo State Park, California
I happened to be shooting in the hills around Mount Diablo this last Thursday when a magnificent sun pillar appeared in the sky. Sun Pillars are caused when ice crystals in the atmosphere are aligned horizontally, and reflect light in a vertical column.
It’s easy to image how hundreds and thousands of years ago, sun pillars, like rainbows, solar halos, and other atmospheric phenomenon would be seen as signs from God, or the Gods depending on time, place, and religion or mythos. But there is no denying that seeing one of these could bring a sense of awe or mystery to a viewer. The one thought that came to me while watching Charleton Heston’s “The Ten Commandments” was when Pharaoh was chasing the Israelites through the desert, and there appears a column of flame in the sky. It’s easy to think that what Pharaoh might have been seen is a sun pillar. (Please, this is just a thought; I do not want any religious discussion or debate on this blog.)
Image ID#: 110421_MTD-0096a
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