Taunus Iridescent Clouds

June 30, 2007

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Provided and copyright by: Rolf Kohl
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster, Rolf Kohl

These incredible iridescent clouds were observed around midday near Taunus, Germany, on March 6, 2007. Intense colors in altocumulus clouds rendered a sky that was breathtaking. The iridescent coloration results from diffraction of sunlight -- small water droplets composing these mid level clouds interfere with or deflect the Sun's rays. When observing optical phenomena, especially in the middle of the day, be sure to block out the Sun, otherwise your vision could be seriously damaged. See also the Earth Science Picture of the Day for December 1, 2006.

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