North Bay, Canada resident Timothy Joseph Elzinga recently sighted light pillars in the night sky after being awoken by his son in the middle of the night.
According to CBC News: "Elzinga captured a weather phenomenon called light pillars. “Light pillars appear when either natural or artificial light bounces off ice crystals floating close to the ground. In this case, the air was so cold that ice crystals were forming in the air, reflecting the city’s street and business lights.”
Elzinga captured the strange phenomena on his phone taking both pictures and video. You can find a video recap of the event on YouTube.
Light Pillars over Whitefish Bay Image Credit & Copyright: Vincent Brady
Explanation: What's happening in the sky? Unusual lights appeared last week to hover above Whitefish Bay on the eastern edge of Lake Superior between the USA and Canada. Unsure of the cause, the Michigan-based astrophotographer switched camera lenses -- from fisheye to telephoto -- and soon realized he was seeing light pillars: vertical lines of light over a ground source that reflect from falling ice crystals. As the ground temperature was above freezing, the flat crystals likely melted as they approached the ground, creating a lower end to the vertical light pillars. The red ground lights originated from wind turbines on Ile Parisienne, a Canadian Island visible across the bay.