Science: Pillars of Fire

A photograph of a rare outdoor night scene showing long, slim, spindle-shaped pillars of fire apparently streaming into the sky was last week turned up by Scientific American. Taken by an amateur photographer at Wilbur, Wash., it was a picture of the meteorological phenomenon called "pillar halos." One authority on the physics of the air, Dr. William Jackson Humphreys of the U. S. Weather Bureau, pronounced it the best picture of pillar halos he had ever seen.

Pillar halos are caused by the reflection of strong lights from the faces of thin, flat snow crystals which tend to pancake while falling—that...

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