Irridescent supermoon clouds

This photo was taken in the early hours last on June 24 2013.This was the night after super full moon night, in which the moon was at its closest to the Earth for the year, and hence seemingly larger in the sky. The irridescence is due top diffraction of light rays around water droplets of just the right mix of sizes to diffract different wavelengths producing the colours.


Image credit: Ronald Smith via EPOD.

Iridescent clouds over Thamserku

Why would a cloud appear to be different colors? A relatively rare phenomenon known as iridescent clouds can show unusual colors vividly or a whole spectrum of colors simultaneously. These clouds are formed of small water droplets of nearly uniform size. When the Sun is in the right position and mostly hidden by thick clouds, these thinner clouds significantly diffract sunlight in a nearly coherent manner, with different colors being deflected by different amounts. Therefore, different colors will come to the observer from slightly different directions. Many clouds start with uniform regions that could show iridescence but quickly become too thick, too mixed, or too far from the Sun to exhibit striking colors. The above iridescent cloud was photographed in 2009 from the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal, behind the 6,600-meter peak named Thamserku.

Image credit & copyright: Oleg Bartunov

Iridescent cloud above Mt. Hood - Sister Rocks - Trapper Creek Wilderness - Gifford Pinchot National Forest - Washington - May 31, 2015

my photography

This was the peak of the solar eclipse in Tromsø at 11:09 am, with 95% of the sun covered by the moon. Got the added bonus of the altocumulus clouds turning iridiscent and shimmering pastel rainbow hues at the peak of the eclipse. Alongside the crisp blue skies and the soft snowflakes gently drifting down, I think this might be have been one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my life. ;u;