A cloud, in the shape of a heart, fringed with iridescent colours – what more could you ask for!

This mid-level clouds shape is much to do with chance, but the dazzling colour display at its fringe can be explained. The colourisation is the result of the diffraction of sunlight by tiny water droplets, ranging from 1/10th to 1/1000th of the size of an actual raindrop. Seeing as the drops are so minute, sunlight is not refracted efficiently- instead, the light is deflected in all directions through diffraction. This phenomenon usually occurs in clouds which have formed quite recently and are more likely to have water droplets of small and uniform size.

This amazing shot was captured by Dariusz Dorosz above Zabikow, Poland on July 30, 2010.