April 15, 2011

[SkyWatch] Soft Rainbow Cloud

When light passes through a wispy, high-altitude cirrus cloud a certain way, you get what is called a rainbow cloud... or a sun dog. They are apparently quite common, yet I have seldom seen one in such soft pastels as this one (almost no post-processing).


 Bucharest, 2011

Cirrus clouds are mostly tiny particles of hexagonal ice crystals, and when positioned just right so light enters a vertical side of a crystal and exits from its bottom face, it refracts or bends, just like light passing through a prism.

I'm not very good with the science, so feel free to correct or elaborate, but I was thrilled with this SkyWatch Friday view.

36 comments:

Sylvia K said...

These are fantastic, Francisca! I've never seen any like this although I have heard of them! Superb captures! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Sylvia

Dina said...

What a wonder of nature! I would love to see a sun dog.

tapirgal said...

That rainbow cloud is stunning, and the unusual dark and light clouds on the left just add to the uniqueness of this photo. I've never seen a rainblow cloud like that one. I was told that sun dogs are when there are streaks coming down from the clouds. Is that what you meant?

Francisca said...

@tapirgal... no, my understanding is that a sun dog is not about streaks of light coming out of a cloud, but rather the optical effects of bright colors ON a cirrus cloud caused by the sun rays being refracted to make it look like a rainbow. Perhaps a better explanation and images can be seen HERE.

Rajesh said...

Beautiful shot of the Cirus clouds in the sky.

Birgitta - foto CHIP said...

Fantastic colours in the first shot!
Happy SWF!

ladyfi said...

Wow - that is so gorgeous!

H said...

What beautiful colours! Lovely shots (especially the close-up)!

joo said...

Wow, terrific sky, Francisca!

Karen said...

Oh wow...FANTASTIC...well done!

ewok1993 said...

are you sure that's not ufo? just kidding. so pretty. i spotted one last year.

LauraX said...

Wow! I've never seen anything like this before...absolutely amazing!!!

Inger-M said...

Wow, that is so amazing! Lucky you to have seen it, and lucky us that you shared it!

Anita Johnson said...

I'm a big son dog fan...your photo is perfect. The other day there was almost a full circle around the sun and guess who left their camera at home? Darn!

Denise said...

Extraordinary sky photos, just magical!

""rare*jonRez"" said...

Those are amazing beauty of the clouds! The colors? That's magical! I love it!

Rcel
DUSK Before the Storm

Genie said...

My husband are sitting here mesmerized by your first shot with the rainbow cloud. Not only have we never seen one, we did not even know there was such a thing. It is definitely a gift from the heavens. Nature is full of many surprises. Lovely photography.

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Beautiful cloud formations! (I just saw on your profile that you are living in Manila, Phillippines?) My mom's family are from the Phillipines.

And after growing up a military child, moving every 2 years... and then marrying a miltary man, moving every 3 years...I understand your question in your header: So where exactly IS home? lol... as what has been said: "Home is where the heart is..." The military community has a saying: "Home is where the (Army, AF, Navy, Marines, etc) sends you."

Blessings & Aloha!
Thanks so much for visiting!

Andrea said...

Wow Francisca, looks like earth and heavens there are really very different than what we have here. I am a cloud watcher and have lots of them in my files but haven't chanced on that one yet, even when on planes! I also learned information from you about clouds! Amazing phenomenon. I reviewed my Skywatch Friday comments and didn't see you see this: http://abagillon.blogspot.com/2011/02/5th-floor-window-sky.html. It is different also.

Halcyon said...

What a gorgeous sight!

Kaori said...

I can't for the life of me figure out what you said in the second paragraph, but I think that the rainbow clouds is magical! What a gorgeous shot! Love it :D

forgetmenot said...

What wonderful clouds--I've never seen anything quite like that--beautiful!! Mickie :)

Arija said...

Sundogs only happen on high clouds that carry ice crystals. A great capture as they are mostly rather fleeting.

Gabriela Abalo said...

Gorgeous captures Francisca!!! I love them

Have a wonderful weekend

:)

Tanya said...

just gorgeous! happy swf!

JM said...

It's amazing! I don't remember seeing a rainbow cloud before.

Ms. Burrito said...

Beautiful shots!

I would be so happy if you could visit my Sky Watch at Kids e-Connection, thank you so much!

jennyfreckles said...

I've never seen one of those - isn't it pretty?

Gary said...

Your photos are works of art by themselves. Good job, Francisca!

Ms. Becky said...

what a blessing to have been in just the right place at just the right time to witness this magic. I've seen sun dogs before, but nothing like this one. wow, that first shot is amazing.

Luna Miranda said...

this is fascinating. i've heard of sun dogs but never seen one before.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Beautiful and the best sundog I've ever seen (I have seen them here in Florida and even taken pictures, but neither the actual nor the picture was that good!)

Your science sounds fine to me (which means NOTHING ;>)...I saved a passage from a Bill Bryson book that explains the various types of clouds. And really I plan to read it one of these times ;>)

Jacob and Lois Anne said...

Somewhere back somewhere sometime I head the word "sundog." So, this is it? I've not seen a cloud like that, either, and I photographed a lot of clouds. You must have been in the right place at the right time! Superb!

'Tsuki said...

They are commons, but this intensity of color is very rare, I can insure you of that... Very inspiring...

Anonymous said...

The optical phenomenon is called an iridescence. =)

Lady Fi said...

Beautiful shots! WOW!