Photographer captures amazing ‘light pillars’ phenomenon in North Bay, Ont. skyline

A northern Ontario man was surprised to wake up in the middle of the night to see beams of brightly coloured lights shooting up through the night sky.

“We can blame the two-year-old. He started crying at 1:30 a.m., so I got up and soothed him … and out the window I had the perfect view of these dancing lights in the sky,” said Timothy Joseph Alzinga.

“I had to investigate. I got some pants on and ran outside and took some photos.”

According to National Geographic, Alzinga captured a weather phenomenon called light pillars.

light pillars

Timothy Joseph Alzinga told CBC that people came out onto the street in the freezing weather to watch the lights as they changed between yellow, red, green, and blue. (Provided)

Light pillars appear when either natural or artificial light bounces off ice crystals floating close to the ground. 

In this case, the air was so cold that ice crystals were forming in the air, reflecting the city’s street and business lights.

“It looked like someone from Star Trek was trying to beam people up,” Alzinga said.

“It was very bright in person, like nothing I’ve ever seen,” Alzinga said. “It almost seemed supernatural.”

You can view more of Alzinga’s photos on Imgur here.