Usually when your kid wakes you up at 1:30 a.m. all you want tell them to do is please go back to sleep. But Timothy Joseph Elzinga, of North Bay, Ontario, was happy that his two-year-old son Gibson woke him up crying the other night because otherwise he wouldn't have been awake to notice these amazing lights — called light pillars — in the sky.
"It looked like someone from Star Trek was trying to beam people up," Elzinga . "It was very bright in person, like nothing I've ever seen. It almost seemed supernatural."
Elzinga, who runs the Youtube channel , posted this video explaining how this fascinating phenomenon works along with footage from the night he shot this photo.
, light pillars have nothing to do with the northern lights, but rather are "a local phenomenon that can appear as a distant one."
In most places on Earth, a lucky viewer can see a Sun-pillar, a column of light appearing to extend up from the Sun caused by flat fluttering ice-crystals reflecting sunlight from the upper atmosphere. Usually these ice crystals evaporate before reaching the ground. During freezing temperatures, however, flat fluttering ice crystals may form near the ground in a form of light snow, sometimes known as a crystal fog. These ice crystals may then reflect ground lights in columns not unlike a Sun-pillar.
Light pillars don't just happen in Canada. As you can see in these Instagrams, they can also occur in other frigid destinations like Sweden, Alaska, New Hampshire and Michigan.