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Night sky spectacle in Châteauguay

mercredi le 12 janvier 2022
Modifié à 10 h 01 min le 12 janvier 2022
Par Paula Dayan-Perez

pdayan-perez@gravitemedia.com

Several meteorological conditions had to take place simultaneously to generate this winter event. (Photo : Courtesy - Paul Grégoire)

Châteauguay residents were treated to a real natural spectacle on the night of January 3rd. Light pillars of different colours appeared in the sky, testified local citizens.

Aerial drone image taken on Laurier Street, at the corner of Parkview Street in Châteauguay. (Photo: Courtesy - Yanik Lévesque)

Several meteorological conditions had to take place simultaneously to generate this winter event, explained Jean-Philippe Bégin, an Environment Canada meteorologist. When the temperature drops to near -20 degrees Celsius, as it did on that night, microscopic crystals can form in the air. These reflect city lights upwards, forming bright pillars.

However, the cold isn’t the only factor. “There needs to be some humidity,” said Bégin. “Not just on the surface. As you see, [the pillars] go up to maybe 3,000-4,000 feet.”

“Still, it can’t be too windy. It can’t be too dry, and if it snowed, the snow would collect the ice crystals, so we wouldn’t see this phenomenon.”

Photo taken on Laval Street. (Photo : Courtesy - Paul Grégoire)

Those who missed the apparition need not worry. The optical phenomenon usually happens every winter, added the meteorologist.

Image captured on Saint-Joseph Boulevard, near Saint-Eugène Street. (Photo : Courtesy- Dustin Wontka)