Spectacular light pillars illuminate St. Petersburg skies (PHOTOS)

Spectacular light pillars illuminate St. Petersburg skies (PHOTOS)
Russia’s St. Petersburg has witnessed an incredible light show by mother nature, which illuminated the sky with bright columns of light, turning the city into a winter wonderland.

Residents of Russia’s ‘Venice of the north’ awoke early on Saturday morning to find the skyline glittering with strange colors. Yellow, red, blue and green laser-looking columns were visible across the city. At first, people thought that they were witnessing the northern lights, but the pattern of the luminescence suggested a different phenomenon.

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The beauty, witnessed and admired by thousands, was in fact a rare atmospheric optical phenomenon caused by the freezing temperatures. Called a 'light pillar', the bright occurrence is caused by the interaction of light with ice crystals that are densely packed in the atmosphere of the cold air. With thermometers hovering around -20 Celsius (9 Fahrenheit) this time of the year, the light show is likely to come back to St. Petersburg

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