reply to post by surfer_soul
I can understand how it might seem illogical, but if you look into it a little, it makes sense.
Do you understand how prisms work? If you have a whole lot of similar shaped crystals, under the right conditions, because they are so evenly shaped,
they can almost all be orientated in the same way. Light that might normally be reflected up or down, is instead reflected sideways towards the
observer... obviously it will be most intense directly above the light source.
Have you ever been fishing before, and used a float? Have you noticed how the float always orients itself the correct way up? It's very similar to
the way ice crystals can behave in air, given the right conditions
Here is a page which illustrates, and explains how similar shaped ice crystals can cause these type of phenomena:
There's nothing wrong with questioning the understood wisdom, but IMHO if you're going to do that, at least do your homework, and don't outright
dismiss something because you can not get your head around it.
The experts who study these things would never make assumptions like you just did. They actually spent allot of time studying the subject, trying
understand the processes involved, and no offense intended, but I think it's safe to say that they are more qualified to explain what might be going
on than you.
By all means, do some digging, and then
come here and tell us how you think this is possible, and where you think the experts might be going
wrong. If you can understand what you are talking about, people will see that (in theory anyway... I sometimes wonder myself!), and your ideas will be
taken more seriously.
In the spirit of ATS - Deny Ignorance!
As for the odd arcs above the pillars that are baffling the experts... my theory is that there was a layer of air that was more turbulent than the air
below, and the crystals floating in this particular layer are not all orientated in the same direction as much as those in the air below. The result
is what we see; the light becomes more scattered, making the column appear to widen with height. The alternative is a layer of air with differently
shaped crystals to the layer below, or less likely, a new previously unseen shape of ice crystal.