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April 2012

Cloud of the Month for April 2012

April 2012

Cloud of the Month for April 2012

Iridescence over Independence

This month’s cloud formation is a display of cloud iridescence. This colourful optical effect is caused by sunlight being diffracted as it passes around the cloud particles, and is seen mostly often when a cloud is forming or dissipating, which means its water droplets are all of a similar size. The beautiful and eery example shown here is in an Altocumulus cloud spotted by Andrew Kirk over Independence, California, US.

© Photograph Andrew Kirk.

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