Alaska Walkabouts

The adventures of an Alaska Wildlife and Nature Photographer.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

I was kind of surprised to see a picture of some ice pillars featured on the Astronomy Picture of the Day website. I didn't think they were all that rare or exciting as we get them quite often here. One of the local news websites shared the story as well. I guess the day after Christmas must have been a very slow news day indeed. They are caused by light beams reflecting off ice crystals in cold air. I was waiting for aurora last winter and took a shot of some light pillars at the Whittier Tunnel staging area at Portage Alaska. It was -28 that night. While it was a fun photo and all I didn't find the subject all that newsworthy.

Light pillars and satellites at Portage

What I found most interesting that cold night was the residual heat from the heart of the mountain pouring out of one of the train tunnels.