- A nighttime Fata Morgana mirage due to a temperature inversion. The light columns visible in the image are actually the lights from a Canola processing plant near Voltaire, ND, twenty miles to the east. The lights from that plant are not normally visible from my location. Night mirages are often mistaken for light pillars however they are entirely different optical phenomena. Mirages are seen only during clear a sky however light pillars occur during snow or fog.
This type of mirage is very common during North Dakota winters however they are primarily observed during the daytime.
- Paul L Meisel