Letter to the editor: Look up, Wyoming!
Look up, Wyoming! Wyoming daytime skies are very beautiful and expressive, as are our night skies.
At 4 a.m. on April 5, in Pinedale, I let my dogs outside and saw an atmospheric phenomenon called light pillars. They look like extremely tall, straight, multiple columns of light that appear to come from the ground and shoot up high into the night sky. There were about 12 of these columns northeast of Pinedale (from my viewpoint). Did some of you see them too and wonder what they were?
Light pillars aren’t formed the same way as the Northern Lights. Light pillars occur in freezing temperatures when flat, hexagonal ice crystals form lower in the atmosphere than they usually would. When this happens, the crystals form a collective, giant mirror that can reflect light sources like city or car lights. Even though it looks like the light pillars are beaming up into the sky, the opposite is true. Light traveling up into space is actually being reflected back down to Earth by the ice crystals. We see it as multiple columns of light. Pretty spectacular sight!
Did anyone get any photos or see the light pillars? Please share. Don’t forget to look up, Wyoming!
Kathleen Petersen, Pinedale