Tuktoyaktuk Light Pillars by Chris Kelly

Photo of the Week for January 4, 2019

Tuktoyaktuk Light Pillars by Chris KellyLight pollution is the scourge of backyard stargazers and astrophotographers. But sometimes, when conditions are right, artificial lights can create interesting and even beautiful effects. The spectacular light pillars shown in this photo, captured last November from Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, are a fine example. Although these streaks of luminosity superficially resemble an auroral display, they’re very different. Pillars are caused by atmospheric ice crystal reflecting artificial light—the various tints arising from the different colour-temperatures of the illumination sources.

Chris Kelly photographed the scene with a tripod-mounted Nikon D750 DSLR camera and 20mm f/1.8 Nikkor lens. The exposure was 6 seconds at ISO 400.

(Click on the image to see a bigger version.)

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2 comments on “Tuktoyaktuk Light Pillars by Chris Kelly
  1. Darrin Parker says:

    Very cool, Chris! You certainly have a talent for producing beautiful images and capturing natural phenomenon!

    • Chris says:

      Thank you Darrin, I have seen these numerous times, but the conditions don’t seem to last long and are gone by the time I get to this camera. This night they came and went through most of it and finally caught them. I was hoping to get the northern lights with it, but they were faint and well away from the light of town. Have a good day!

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