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Laser beams from space: North Bay man, a cellphone and a cool light show

They occur when artificial or natural light bounces off the facets of flat ice crystals wafting relatively close to the ground

North Bay resident Timothy Elzinga got a surprise when he awoke at 1:30 last Friday morning to check in on his crying two-year-old. While using the bathroom he looked out the window and noticed beams of multi-coloured lights streaming into the dark sky. He at first thought they were the northern lights.

He quickly grabbed his cellphone and captured these pictures of the dancing streams of light.

According the National Geographic News, light pillars "appear when artificial light or natural light bounces off the facets of flat ice crystals wafting relatively close to the ground. When the light source is close to the ground, the light pillar appears above the floating crystals. When the light comes from the sun or moon, the light pillar can appear beneath them, too, as the light refracts through the crystals."

See more photos on Imgur

Watch Tim tell his story about light pillars.