Lori Carey Photography

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Iridescent Clouds

Iridescent clouds over Joshua Tree National Park, 6 November 2010.

Two cloud posts in a row! :P
But these were really cool to see and Bill mentioned them as soon as we walked in the door today.

Yesterday we saw iridescent clouds throughout the south Mojave and Joshua Tree several times during the day. When parts of a cloud are thin and have similar size water droplets diffraction can cause them to show colors of the rainbow. This usually occurs within 20 degrees of the sun (which makes them difficult to view directly) but can occur further away. The quantity of bright white light makes them appear pastel, and the ones we saw yesterday were pink and green.

My photos don't do them justice - the colors were so bright at times you couldn't miss it - but 'someone' forgot to take off her polarizing filter (ask me about my disappearing rainbow some day).

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