Aircraft Iridescence

February 27, 2008


Provided and copyright by: Franz Kerschbaum, University Vienna
Summary: Franz Kerschbaum

While taking wildlife pictures in a nature reserve close to the Vienna, Austria airport, I noticed this 747 jet aircraft in a landing approach with a huge condensation cloud behind its wings. As it moved closer to the runway, I was evidently at just the right position for this shocking but beautiful artificial iridescent cloud to come into view. Iridescence and coronas are diffraction phenomena. The pastel or metallic colors result from deflection of sunlight about minute water droplets.

Photo details: Canon EOS 30D camera, 100-400 mm/4.5-5.6L lens at 400 mm and f/8.0