Does Anyone Know What Causes These Lovely Cloud Rainbows?

Rainbow Clouds

Finding Rainbows in The Sky

Last week while driving my granddaughter to school, I happened to see the clouds in the sky outlined with beautiful rainbows. I told her to look up and see all the rainbows. We both had to stop and look carefully at the beautiful clouds---so many of them edged in all the colors of the rainbow. I had never seen anything like it before. We both thought that it was a wonderfully magical sky.

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dustygi 3 years ago from Florida

That is a great picture. The phenomenon is called cloud iridescence or as I call them, iridescent clouds. As a pilot, I have seen this wonderful phenomenon many times. They are typically seen in medium to high clouds such as altocumulus, altostratus and cirrus clouds. The "rainbow effect" is caused by supercoold ice crystals that make up the cloud, diffracting the light passing through the cloud. Usually the cloud is near the sun from the view-point of the observer.


signgirl profile image

signgirl 3 years ago from Palmetto, Florida Author

Thank you so much for that information; I appreciate your comment.

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