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Snowfall helps Utah light up in the middle of the night

Night light.jpg
Posted at 5:03 PM, Feb 16, 2021

LINDON, Utah — Esoga Simmons couldn't believe what he was seeing outside his Lindon home at nearly 1:30 a.m. Monday morning.

WATCH: No joke, brown snow falls throughout northern Utah

"I have no idea how come it's so light outside," Simmons says on a YouTube video he shared with FOX 13. "Strangest thing."

Simmons, like others, was wondering how the skies above certain parts of Utah were so bright despite the clock showing it was the middle of the night.

What Simmons was witnessing was a phenomenon known as "Snowglow." The nighttime anomaly that occurs after or during heavy snowfall which can cause the night sky to appear twice as bright as a full moon.

"Skyglow," which is more readily seen in larger, urban areas, occurs when artificial light from buildings, lights or billboards reflect back into the sky and forms a "diffuse brightness." Sometimes, the light in the sky can be seen miles away from where the artificial light originates.

PHOTOS: Brown snow in Utah

German researchers Andreas Jechow and Franz Hölker believe that "Snowglow" is simply "Skyglow" amplified by the snow.

In a study, Jechow and Hölker found that fresh snow can make the sky a whopping 200 times brighter on a cloudy night, thereby making it appear like the middle of the day in the middle of the night.

Of course, there are unpleasant side effects to "Skyglow," such as disturbing the eating patterns of animals and the sleep of humans. But it's certainly an interesting event that is exciting to see firsthand.