phenomenon

Photographer Captures Light Pillars in the Icy Night Sky

Photographer Timothy Joseph Elzinga was woken up by his 2-year-old at 1:30 a.m. last Friday when he noticed what looked like colorful auroras dancing in the night sky. After shooting a beautiful set of photos of what he saw, he learned that it was actually a phenomenon called "light pillars."

Capturing a Rare Lunar ‘Fog Bow’ Under the Northern Lights

Over the years I've seen lots of different phenomena in the sky, but one that has been on my bucket list for quite some time is the very rare lunar fog bow. I've seen photos of it, but I've never managed to capture it in real life... until now.

How a Combat Photographer Named a Phenomenon to Honor Soldiers

While embedded with troops in Afghanistan in the late 2000s, war photographer and writer Michael Yon captured numerous photos of the sparkling halo that can appear when a helicopter's rotors hit sand and dust. Upon finding that the particular phenomenon didn't have a name, Yon gave it one that honors two fallen soldiers: the Kopp-Etchells Effect.

Photograph Earth’s Shadow in the Sky at Sunrise and Sunset

I never get tired of seeing our closest star set below the horizon, and seeing how the landscape changes as the warm light gets fainter by the minute. Every sunset has its personality depending each location, weather and season. One beautiful thing about a sunset is what happens right after the Sun has set. If turn around, you can slowly see the Earth shadow rising from the horizon.

Microburst Photographed from a News Helicopter

Photographer Jerry Ferguson was shooting from a news helicopter this week when he spotted a microburst over Phoenix, Arizona. In the right place at the right time, Ferguson managed to capture remarkable photos of it.

Photos of ‘Firefall’, When a Yosemite Waterfall Looks Like Lava

For a short time every February, when conditions are just right, Horsetail Falls in Yosemite gets transformed by a phenomenon known as "firefall." When the sunlight hits the water just right, the waterfall looks like molten lava flowing down the side of El Capitan.

Photographer Sangeeta Dey was there to see and capture the firefall this year, and her above photo has been going viral.

This is How Cameras Glitch with Photos of Propellers

If you've ever photographed spinning airplane propeller or helicopter rotor blades with your smartphone, you may have found that the spinning blades were turned into bizarre shapes in the resulting photo. What you're seeing is distortion caused by a rolling shutter, when a CMOS sensor captures a scene by scanning across it very quickly rather than capturing the entire frame at once.

An Incredibly Rare Photo of a Quadruple Rainbow

New Yorker Amanda Curtis was waiting for a train in Long Island, New York, this past Tuesday when she spotted something incredibly rare: a quadruple rainbow in the sky. She quickly snapped and shared a photo of it online, where it became one of the most talked about images over the past couple of days.

The Gem-Like Turquoise Ice Found on Lake Baikal

Russian photographer Alexey Trofimov calls Lake Baikal "the gem that does not need to be cut." It's the oldest, largest, deepest, and clearest freshwater lake in the world. Every winter, as temperatures plummet to well below zero, the crystal clear lake water forms brilliant gem-like ice that glimmers in the sunlight.

Photographer Captures Amazing Meteor Explosion Mid Time-Lapse

It's a day of awesome astronomical phenomenon on PetaPixel. We started off the day by sharing a stunning time-lapse by photographer Maciej Winiarczyk in which he captured noctilucent clouds and the aurora borealis at the same time.

And now, as you get ready to hit the home stretch and finish Monday on a good note, we have yet another amazing (and accidental) time-lapse capture: While photographing the 2013 Perseids Meteor Shower last week, photographer and designer Michael K. Chung was fortunate enough to capture an actual meteor explosion.

Photog Captures Two Spectacular Natural Phenomena in the Same Time-Lapse

Earlier this month, photographer Maciej Winiarczyk captured a rare and beautiful celestial light show. While shooting a time-lapse in Caithness, Scotland, he was treated to not one but two stunning natural phenomena when his camera captured noctilucent clouds and the aurora borealis at the same time.

Photographer Captures Rare Photograph of a Sprite with an Aurora

Check out this aurora photograph captured last Friday night by photographer Mike Hollingshead. See those small red squiggly lines in the sky? That's an extremely rare form of lightning called a sprite. This photograph is one of the only times a sprite and an aurora have been captured in the same frame.

Commercial Features Water Drops Frozen With Sound and the Camera’s Frame Rate

Earlier this year, we shared a crazy example of how you can make water drops look like they're frozen in midair simply by passing the water over a speaker and using sound vibrations to sync the drops with the frame rate of your camera. Well, Japan's largest music channel, Space Shower TV, has taken the idea and turned it into clever commercial. What you see above is ordinary footage using this trick -- there's no fancy CGI trickery, reversal during post, or high-speed camera footage involved.

Camera Synchronized to Chopper Blades Creates Amazing Illusion

Here's an old-ish video that's been making the rounds again lately (viral videos are like viruses -- they don't go away very easily). Titled "Camera shutter speed synchronized with helicopter blade frequency," it shows what can happen when your camera is synchronized with the RPM of a helicopter's rotor blades. The resulting footage makes the helicopter look as though it's just floating in the air!

A High Definition Time-Lapse of Venus Flying Past the Sun

There was a much-hyped transit of Venus yesterday in which Venus appeared as a small black circle moving across the face of the sun. This rare phenomenon occurs in pairs of eight years separated by more than a century: the previous transit was in 2004, but the next one won't occur until 2117. If you missed out, don't worry -- there's a boatload of beautiful photos and videos out there that can give you an even better view than what your eyes would have seen. The amazing high-definition video above was created using images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Manhattanhenge: A Unique Bi-Annual Photo Op for New Yorkers

Twice per year something really cool happens: the stars, or rather one particular star, aligns with the grid of streets running through Manhattan island, offering photographers and astronomers alike an opportunity to go out and snap a few very unique and very cool photos. On May 29th (today) and July 12th of this year (it varies a bit each year) the sun sets in perfect alignment with the Manhattan grid. It's known as "Manhattanhenge". On those specific days, when the sun sets, you will see half of the glowing orb above and half below the horizon -- although you can still get some cool, though not quite as perfect, photos on the days before and after.