Iridescent Clouds Over Deventer, the Netherlands

February 27, 2017

Netherlands_iridescence_6jan2017 1231UT (1)

Photographer: Peter Paul Hattinga Verschure
Summary Authors: Peter Paul Hattinga Verschure; Jim Foster

The photo above shows unusual strongly iridescence in altocumulus wave clouds as observed over Deventer, the Netherlands. Iridescence is often noticed when mid-level clouds are observed in the vicinity of the Sun. The metallic colors result from diffraction processes -- when sunlight is scattered or deflected by the minute water droplets that compose these mid-level clouds. Note that colors are purer when the droplet sizes are uniform. Such uniformity in sizes is more likely to occur when the droplets form and or dissipate along the cloud edges. Always use extreme caution when looking anywhere near the Sun. Photo taken on January 6, 2017.

Photo Details: Camera Model: NIKON D80; Focal Length: 100.0mm (35mm equivalent: 150mm); Aperture: ƒ/16.0; Exposure Time: 0.0003 s (1/4000); ISO equiv: 200; Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.0 Windows.