Crescent Moon and Iridescent Contrail Over Brasilia, Brazil

June 26, 2018


Photographer: Leonardo Caldas
Summary Authors: Leonardo Caldas; Jim Foster

The photo above shows the waxing crescent Moon and an iridescent jet contrail as viewed from Brasilia, Brazil. It was taken just after sunrise on the morning of January 13, 2018. Irisation or iridescence can often be seen in jet contrails. During the brief period when the expelled particles from a jet's engines are in a liquid state, diffraction of sunlight in the tiny droplets can result in pastel coloration. Note that when the particle sizes are slightly different purplish and pinkish colors are observed more frequently than other colors.