Pillars of Light Shine Over Argentina (Photo)

Light Pillars from Argentina by Montufar
These unusual Light Pillars appear over Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Astrophotographer Sergio Emilio Montúfar Codoñer took this image on the night of July 20th 2015. (Image credit: Sergio Emilio Montúfar Codoñer )

A gorgeous example of a phenomenon known as "light pillars" was captured in this breathtaking scene over Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

Astrophotographer Sergio Emilio Montúfar Codoñer took this image on July 20 using a Sony A7 camera with a 14mm f/2.8 Rokinon lens and an Iso 8000. The image combines seven vertical images into a single panorama that documents a series of light pillars at General Belgrano, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Montúfar Codoñer had not initially planned to take an image of the light pillars.

"I was doing stars photos, however, clouds came in, there was [a] meteorological prediction of a partially clouded night, however I couldn’t [miss] the chance of doing some Milky Way images in the early winter night, so I went there, to the Salado River, I walk around 1 hour and a half to get to this position," he wrote in an email to Space.com.

Light pillars, sometimes called sun pillars, are vertical shafts of light in the sky, created by the sun or another bright light source. Ice crystals drifting in Earth’s air reflect the light, causing this phenomenon. Sun pillars are best seen around sunset and just before dawn, but light pillars can occur in the sky at anytime, and from any light source. [Skywatching Forecast: Great Resources to Check Night Sky Conditions]

"I was packing to get back, after a couple of images and a time lapse, but then I witness what I called an amazing atmosphere moment, since there was not only one, there [were] several light pillars, I never saw something like this before, I was impressed and it was a shocking moment," Montúfar Codoñer added.

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Contributing Writer and Producer

Nina Sen is a freelance writer and producer who covered night sky photography and astronomy for Space.com. She began writing and producing content for Space.com in 2011 with a focus on story and image production, as well as amazing space photos captured by NASA telescopes and other missions. Her work also includes coverage of amazing images by astrophotographers that showcase the night sky's beauty.