The beams of light have lit up the sky across Russia
Beams of bright lights have sprung up across the skies with startled onlookers sharing their images on social media.
On Friday, January 27, people living in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don were shocked by dozens of vertical light pillars shining across the sky.
The action happens when light is reflected from ice crystals close to the ground.
Beams of light pillars were seen over Saratov in Russia
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Scientists have said the light pillars are an optical illusion
Basically, pieces of ice or snowflakes started to form in the air
Oleg Stepanyan, a member of the Russian Academy of Science
The effect is created by the reflection of light from numerous tiny ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere or clouds.
Experts have claimed the lights are an optical illusion.
A photo posted by Aх, Самара – городок! (@ahsamaragorodok) on Jan 22, 2017 at 9:08am PST
Oleg Stepanyan, a member of the Russian Academy of Science, said: “Friday afternoon saw a rise in temperature and then there was a sharp fall down to minus 14 degrees Celsius at night.
“The air was humid and then the water started to crystalise.
“Basically, pieces of ice or snowflakes started to form in the air.”
Shocked onlookers shared their images on social media
The pictures show the beams to be coming from the ground striking the sky.
One photographer from Murmansk said the effect is a “variation of halo”, usually taking place during daylight.
The unique lights could even be spotted in Moscow, which is normally blocked by clouds.