Amateur photographer captures rare light pillars

A father captured these stunning images of multicolored pillars beaming up into to the sky after waking up at 1.30am and thinking aliens were invading.

Timothy Joseph Elzinga, 33, got out of bed when two-year-old son Gibson started crying – and he noticed the incredible light show outside.

He thought someone from Star Wars was ”trying to beam people up” – and quickly ran outside to investigate the yellow, green, red and blue lights.

The amateur photographer captured the incredible light pillars – caused by crystals of moisture frozen in the air – reflecting light over Ontario, Canada, last Friday.

Timothy, who took the images on his phone camera, said: ”It looked almost supernatural – like some kind of intergalactic wars, with beams shooting down from the sky.

“It was very bright in person, like nothing I’ve even seen before. It seems like nobody has really seen this kind of thing, either.

”There were beams of light being shot out of the atmosphere down to the ground, all different colours shimmering and changing.

”It’s about the one time I’ll be glad to get waked up at 1.30am by my son crying. If not for that I would have missed it.”

Light pillars are caused when temperatures plummet so low that water molecules in the air freeze but can remain stationary in vertical shafts.

The light pillars captured by Timothy in -18c temperatures were particularly dazzling as they reflected artificial light from neon signs, homes – and even traffic lights changing from red to green.

Unlike the natural northern lights, light pillars can be partly man-made and there are no magnetic fields involved.

Timothy added: ”It was pretty amazing. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

”It was so cold that night that it froze the moisture in the air, creating crystals so small that are perfect for prisms of light to shoot out from.”

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