Light pillar beaming in Houston-area sky draws wild theories

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Thursday, March 24, 2022
What's that red light in the sky?
We got plenty of theories, but there might be some science behind that red light in the sky!

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Curious about a little red light spotted in the sky Wednesday night? You weren't the only one.

Several ABC13 viewers reached out to the newsroom about the mysterious red light. So much so, we heard from people in Pearland, League City, Deer Park, Missouri City and more.

We made some calls, and while we don't have a definite confirmation, all signs point to flaring in either Baytown or Deer Park.

While the theories went wild, chief meteorologist Travis Herzog actually had some scientific insight to offer.

"This type of vertically stretched reflection is called a 'light pillar,' and it is caused by ice crystals in the clouds. Light pillars are rare to see around here, but the air aloft is exceptionally cold because of the powerful storm system that brought severe weather to Texas Monday and Tuesday," Travis wrote on a Facebook post that has garnered more than 1,000 comments.

On the ABC13 Facebook page, someone thought the light was a nod to "Hocus Pocus," when Sanderson sister Winifred's spell book is opened and emits a glow.

"It's her spell book giving its location, that's all," viewer Liz wrote.

Travis may have had the inside knowledge that it's a light pillar, but that didn't stop him from coming up with a theory of his own.

"Stealing a page from Batman's playbook, the Astros are trying to page Correa and Springer back to Houston," he suggested.

OK, we like that one.

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