Iridescent clouds


Grey clouds have returned bringing rain and snow. Only four days ago, some clouds were variegated.

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5 Responses to Iridescent clouds

  1. Irene McIlwaine says:

    Gorgeous, ? Sunset?. Thanks Irene

    • Alistair says:

      Irene, not sunset. It was near mid-day, but the Sun was behind the ridge and the colours are the result of the light diffracting around cloud droplets.

  2. wendy scott says:

    too early in the day — or the year to be classified as “noctilucent” but really lovely.

    • Alistair says:

      Wendy, thank you. Yet, your remark was insightful. You are right it isn’t a noctilucent cloud (a night-luminous cloud) for the colours of such clouds are seen against a dark sky well after sunset, but the process of diffraction by small cloud droplets is identical to that of the scene shown here.

  3. Anne Ireland says:

    The first time I saw this I was walking my dog, so it must have been midday. I thought there was something wrong with my eyesight! I’ve seen it twice since. The first one was predominately blue and green, the second one was like the one in your picture. Isn’t nature wonderful — what a gift.

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