A Sun Pillar in Red and Violet

Sometimes the unknown is beautiful. In 2000 February near Lake Tahoe, Nevada,
two amateur photographers noticed an unusual red column of light rise mysteriously
from a setting sun. During the next few minutes, they were able to capture the
pillar and a photogenic sunset on film. Pictured above, the red column is seen
above a serene Lake Tahoe and snow-capped mountains across from Lake Tahoe-Nevada
State Park. The mysterious column, they learned later, is a Sun Pillar, a phenomenon
where sunlight reflects off of distant falling ice crystals.