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Strange Irridescent Clouds
Chasing Circumzenuthal arcs

Strange Irridescent Clouds



Under unusual circumstances, clouds can show a broad range of color. The photo to the left was taken near sunset on a day that was rife with sundogs, and captures an irridescent glow of green and purple.

Effects like this can be caused by rocket exhaust, though there was no announced launch on the day this photo was taken.

I observed this effect again when there was a lot of smoke in the air. The red moon shown below was photographed during the devastating fires we had in Southern California in Oct 2007.

Four days after the moon photo was taken, the skies cleared enough so that they looked normal -- almost. At sunset, this irridescent cloud phenomena returned as shown below. The purple green and orange were the genuine colors seen at the time. While taking these photos, I wasn't sure whether or not I was looking at my own afterimages from the bright clouds. The photo was taken on slide film, so it took a couple weeks before I confirm that I wasn't imagining the color. More photos are below this one.