Attention All Cloudspotters
You can’t look around when you’re looking up, so we’ve had a look around for you.
If you have cloud news that you think we should include here, please email it to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s a flying carpet cloud over Exeter, UK. See August Cloud of the Month here…
We all know how clouds are often to be used to describe negative things – someone ‘having a cloud hanging over them’ or there being ‘a cloud on the horizon’. We were interested to read a scholarly article about the history of these bad connotations written by Steven Connor, and originally aired as an episode of The Essay on BBC Radio 3 on 25 February 2009. Steven’s piece shows that clouds have been getting a bad press for centuries. Many thanks to H Brown (member 7173) for letting us know about this fascinating chronology of cloud dread. Click here to read the article.
Cloud Appreciation Society member, Elizabeth Gordon, recently sent us the link to Drink Smart Water which has been inspired by the clouds. She says it’s a little fun and if you click the screen there are options to play with the clouds!
We were recently contacted by the PHOG Water Team, a water sourcing venture that harvests pure water directly from clouds and fog with the mission to expand clean water access worldwide.
In the summer of 2013, they successfully tested a pilot site on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines that can produce millions of liters of water a year. This cloud harvesting method is a sustainable water collection alternative that requires zero energy input and avoids issues of groundwater depletion. PHOG has been working on providing a locally sourced and environmentally conscious bottled water option in the Caribbean, while providing resources and materials for people to start their own cloud and fog collection systems worldwide.
You can find out more from their website and also from the video below.
We recently came across this rather clever – and very expensive – ‘smart’ cloud lamp, made by Richard Clarkson Studios. The description claims that “The Smart cloud is the fully featured unit. Remote, Color changing lights, 2.1 Speakers, motion detection & more. Variants include a “satellite add-on cloud”.
For those who feel that the $3,360.00 price tag of the smart Cloud Lamp is a little expensive, there is a slightly cheaper ‘non-smart’ lamp-only option. Those who feel that too is rather pricey can enjoy the free alternative by looking out of the window on a stormy day.
Society founder, Gavin Pretor-Pinney, will be speaking at this year’s Port Eliot Festival in Cornwall, UK. It is ten years since he gave ‘The Inaugural Lecture of the Cloud Appreciation Society’ at Port Eliot. As well as being a guide to cloudspotting, the talk will be a look back over the events that have shaped the Society and world of clouds over the past 10 years.
Date: Sunday 27 July 2014, 3.30pm
At: Port Eliot Festival, Port Eliot Estate, St Germans, Saltash, Cornwall PL12 5ND, UK
Tickets: Buy day and weekend tickets from festival website
Following a recent media request, Cloud Appreciation Society member, Arun Padake, agreed to be interviewed for The Times of India about the joys of cloud watching. The image here is of his “Golden Eagle” and you can read the full article on The Times of India website.
The first episode in this BBC2 series (UK) was aired last week and explored clouds from within in one of the world’s largest airships. Felicity Aston was the presenter and you can read her blog about her experience here
This Wednesday, 23rd July, they will be continuing their journey across the USA in the airship, and the team will question how the atmosphere changes with altitude and how that has an impact on the life found there.
We always like to receive a postcard in the office. So it was great to get this one recently from Kim Ter-Horst, Member No 14256, who sent it while on holiday in Sweden. The card shows the earliest surviving painting of ‘halo phenomena’, those arcs and spots of light that can result as sunlight passes through clouds composed of ice crystals with particular shapes.
Painted in 1636 by Jacob Elbfas, and hanging in the Storkyrkan church in Stockholm, the painting is called Vädersolstavlan, which is the Swedish for ‘The Sun Dog Painting’. Sun dogs are one type of halo phenomenon that appear as bright spots of light on one or other side of the sun when sunlight passes at a certain angle through cloud composed of clear, hexagonal shaped ice-crystals. The painting is a copy of an original, now lost, attributed to Urban Målare depicting a dramatic display of halo phenomena that occurred on April 20, 1535. It seems there were a whole range of optical phenomena that day besides sun dogs, many of which are identifiable by their appearance in the painting. Although all the positions are not quite right and not all of these optical effects could have appeared in the sky at the same time of day, the phenomena shown in addition to the sun dogs include a 22-degree halo, a circumscribed halo, a circumzenithal arc and a parhelic circle.
Many thanks to Kim for sending us a card so well suited to cloud nerds.
Cloud watcher Bernard L Reymond recently sent us a link to NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day. It shows Iridescent clouds over Thamserku and the photographer was Oleg Bartunov. If you click through to the NASA page you will see a very good explanation of how these clouds are formed.