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Sun pillars near Lake Tahoe, Nevada, U.S.A.
When the Sun is behind the horizon or shielded from view by an obstacle, a sun pillar can be a surprising sight. In February 2000 a couple, hiking near Lake Tahoe, Nevada, U.S.A., noticed this "unusual red column of light rise mysteriously from the setting sun".

[© James KIRKPATRICK - more pictures by James KIRKPATRICK can be viewed at]