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Pillars of light in Sulu skies? PAGASA explains aurora-like sight


Photos above and below courtesy of Amarkan Jidara
Above and below: Photos of the Sulu "pillars of light" courtesy of Amarkhan Jidara

The recent appearance of majestic pillars of light in Sulu's skies was a meteorological phenomenon caused by ice crystals and moonlight, according to PAGASA on Monday.

"Ang nangyari kasi dyan, mayroon silang clear skies. 'Yung manipis na cirrus clouds, mayroong ice crystals. 'Yun 'yung nag-reflect ng ilaw galing sa buwan," PAGASA weather specialist Raymond Ordinario told GMA News Online.

Meanwhile, PAGASA weather specialist Aldczar Aurelio added that all types of clouds may contain ice crystals but not all can create vertical reflections of light in the sky.

"May specific na formation [ng ice crystals] na kailangan at shape," Aurelio said.

The pillars of light may appear anywhere as long as the conditions are present, according to the state weather bureau.

Last week, pillars of lights appeared in the skies of Sulu. The Tausugs call it "Lansuk-Lansuk" or candles.




Ordinario said that the mesmerizing sight lasted for 20 to 30 minutes because the ice crystals in clouds also break in the process causing the reflections to gradually disappear.

Further, he said that this scientific explanation also applies to the "halo" that appears around the moon sometimes. —NB, GMA News