Discovering the Enchanting Iridescent Pileus: A Rare Phenomenon in the Sky

Have you ever witnessed a breathtaking atmospheric display known as an iridescent pileus or rainbow cloud? This captivating phenomenon occurs when vibrant colors dance atop growing cumulus clouds on a hot day following a thunderstorm, creating a mesmerizing spectacle as light diffracts around water droplets.

The ideal conditions for an iridescent pileus include a post-thunderstorm scenario, where cumulus clouds are rapidly growing, and the atmosphere is heated. As the sun casts its rays onto these burgeoning clouds, the light interacts with the water droplets in the atmosphere, resulting in the stunning display of colors reminiscent of a rainbow.

For this phenomenon to be visible, the clouds must be in close proximity to the sun from the observer’s vantage point. The magic happens when the sun’s light diffracts around the water droplets, creating an ethereal, iridescent halo atop the cumulus clouds. Additionally, observers may notice the shadow cast by the sun shining on the cumulus cloud, creating a beautiful interplay of light and shadow on the upper layer of clouds.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to witness this enchanting event right from my back door. In a moment of awe, I hurriedly grabbed my camera, capturing a single frame of this magical occurrence. To add an extra touch to the scene, a passing plane entered the frame, enhancing the overall composition of the photograph.

Feel free to swipe through the images to witness a closer look at this celestial dance of colors and appreciate the full beauty of the iridescent pileus. Nature’s artistry is truly unparalleled, and capturing such fleeting moments reminds us of the wonders that surround us every day.

I hope you enjoy this glimpse into the captivating world above, where atmospheric phenomena like the iridescent pileus remind us of the beauty that unfolds in the sky after a thunderstorm.

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Au Gia Lam