The Mother Of All Clouds


Behold: vivid iridescent nacreous or ‘mother of pearl’ clouds over Tandalen in Sweden late last week. To wit:

 …they are rare. This northern winter season they have been making unforgettable appearances at high latitudes, though. A type of polar stratospheric cloud, they form when unusually cold temperatures in the usually cloudless lower stratosphere form ice crystals. Still sunlit at altitudes of around 15 to 25 kilometers the clouds can diffract sunlight after sunset and before the dawn.

Image: P-M Hedén (Clear Skies, TWAN)


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