|Rare Nacreous clouds otherwise known as polar stratospheric clouds are being spotted across the island.|
Twitter: Cecilia Daly
February 2, 2016 - EARTH - The following constitutes several of the latest reports of stunning cloud and light formation in the skies across the globe, as magnetic polar migration increases.
Nacreous rainbow cloud spotted in the skies over IrelandThe stunning clouds were pictured by people in a number of places, including Dublin and Belfast
A number of people noticed amazing rainbow coloured clouds in the sky over Ireland this morning.
The stunning clouds were pictured by people in a number of places, including Dublin and Belfast.
More images from Twitter:
They are known as polar stratospheric clouds or nacreous clouds and usually appear during winter at high latitudes like Scandinavia, Iceland, Alaska and Northern Canada.
The clouds are quite rare in Ireland and are mostly visible within two hours after sunset or before dawn.
They appeared as Storm Henry continues to batter the country. - Irish Mirror.
Rose-coloured sky in northern Canada amazes Iqaluit residentsLight scattering likely cause of deep red colouration, says CBC meteorologist
Residents of Iqaluit, Nunavut woke up on Tuesday morning seeing red — literally.
The city took on a strange rose hue throughout the day, wowing residents and leading to plenty of theories. CBC North's Nick Murray snapped a photo of the colouration outside CBC's Iqaluit bureau, which was shared widely across Facebook and Twitter. By Wednesday afternoon, the photo had reached nearly 200,000 people on CBC's Facebook pages alone.
The photo was quickly confirmed by other Iqaluit residents, some of which had their own theories.
"Ziggy Stardust just flew by," commented Kevin Robinson, a reference to the recent passing of David Bowie.
"Is it be cuz [sic] of your sunglasses?" asked Susie Pinguatuq, commenting on CBC Nunavut's Facebook page. Light scattering likely culprit
However, the likely answer for the strange colouration isn't related to pop icons, or eyewear: instead, it's rooted in how light reacts with the atmosphere.
CBC North meteorologist Ashley Brauweiler says Iqaluit's red sky is likely a result of light scattering, where sunlight is reflected through particles in the atmosphere. The colouring was also likely intensified by the time of day the photo was taken — near sunset — when the sun is lower in the sky.
"When the sun is at a low angle in the sky, the light has a longer distance to travel," said Brauweiler. "The blue [colouration, which leads to a more common 'blue sky'] gets removed by the ice crystals and salt in the air, which leaves red visible." "The clouds are much larger than light waves, which allows them to take on the colour, in this case pink." - CBC News.
Nacreous rainbow cloud seen over Leicester, UK
The formation, which looked like a rainbow around an oval of bright light, appeared at about 5pm in an otherwise murky, grey sky.
Witnesses took photos of the phenomenon and uploaded them to Twitter, many commenting on the "beautiful" appearance.
Leicester Mercury weatherman Dave Mutton said the formation was the result of a cold front moving from the North down to the South. He said that when a cold front meets a warmer front, bits of cloud break off, creating a gap in cloud cover.
Today's 'gap' occurred just as the sun was setting behind it, creating the ethereal oval of light.
He said the rainbow effect appeared because of the light refracting through ice crystals or water droplets in the clouds.
Dave said: "It would have been quite a sight with the sun setting behind it."
However, Dave said it could have also been a polar stratospheric cloud.Polar stratospheric clouds form at very high altitudes, between 15km and 25km (about 50,000 to 80,000 feet) and at very cold temperatures (around -78 deg C).
They are also known as nacreous clouds, from nacre, or mother of pearl, due to their iridescent nature.
Lisa Tubby, of Thurnby Lodge, was among the many people intrigued by the phenomenon, but said it made her feel slightly anxious.
She said: "To be honest, at first I thought it was another planet because of its circle shape, but also because I'd never seen anything like it before.
"I told my daughter to come and have a look at it, and she said it was similar to when petrol and water mix, but I told her that of course it wasn't that as there isn't any petrol in the sky.
|© Chris Gordon|
|© Chris Gordon|
"I then went to my mum and dad's, who live just down the road from me, and my dad said it was a rainbow, and my mum said that it was unlike anything she had seen in her life. She's 52 years old."
On Twitter, Leicester Schools Welcome Refugees said that a similar cloud formation appeared in Birstall at 4.30pm this afternoon.
Mercury photographer Chris Gordon captured the phenomenon, which was only briefly in the sky, on camera.
He said: "It's amazing. I've never seen anything like it. It's very reminiscent of a rainbow.
"I decided to take the picture as everyone in the office was so excited about it. Plus, I've always loved sunsets - they're my favourite spectacle."
Posts on Twitter suggested the spectacle was visible all around the UK.
- Leicester Mercury.