Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Nacreous Clouds


"Nacreous Clouds are clouds in the winter polar stratosphere at altitudes
of 15-25 km. They are implicated in the formation of ozone holes".
That's the scientific definition. These only form in polar regions and
are very similar to rainbows, only without the rain. Ice crystals form
and light reflects off of them to form vibrant pastel colors. Usually this
happens in the spring, but last winter we had them in mid-July with the
full moon providing the light. It was a pretty rare experience, viewing
them in the dark. I'm glad I had an chance to see it happen.

6 comments:

JayMill said...

how can I go to Antarctica? :)

Anonymous said...

They are gorgeous. We don't get nacreous clouds up here. I wonder why not? Any ideas?
Lori

Tom said...

Hi jaymill,
If you're an American, you can go to http://www.polar.org and apply. Other countries have programs as well

Tom said...

Lori,
I'm not sure why there wouldn't be any up on the Slope. It might have something to do with the hole in the ozone???

Anonymous said...

top notch photo there, tom. Or did you pluck this from the I: drive. Seeing those clouds in the middle of the day in the dark was a pleasure I never did see. I thought the clouds were beautiful with sun, but that photo makes me want to book the soonest flight to McMurdo on a C-17.
Phil

Tom said...

Thanks Phil. That one is actually one of my own from last winter. Are you actually coming back again sometime down the road? Been checking out your blog lately. Any changes forthcoming? I actually used a link from it for today's posting.