The below is the January 2nd, 2006 Astronomy Picture of the Day.
This is another amazing illusion of nature. There was no special filter used to create this effect. Have you ever seen this effect as the sun sets?
A Sun Pillar Over Maine
Credit & Copyright: Lucy Orloski
Explanation: Have you ever seen a sun pillar? When the air is cold and the Sun is rising or setting, falling ice crystals can reflect sunlight and create an unusual column of light. Ice sometimes forms flat, six-sided shaped crystals as it falls from high-level clouds. Air resistance causes these crystals to lie nearly flat much of the time as they flutter to the ground. Sunlight reflects off crystals that are properly aligned, creating the sun-pillar effect. In the above picture taken late last month, a sun-pillar reflects light from a Sun setting over Bangor, Maine, USA.