Nacreous Clouds


Nacreous Clouds, photographs by John Bolton

Just before and around sunset on February 16th 1996 there was a spectacular show in the sky with iridescent, multicolor clouds. The clouds were constantly changing in size position and colour.

Nacreous Clouds, or sometimes known as "Mother of Pearl" are a very rare sight, especially in the UK. This display was seen over many parts of the UK. Nacreous clouds are formed of ice crystals, very high in the upper atmosphere. The crystals act as tiny prisms and refract the light to produce the multiple rainbow effect across the sky.

These photographs were taken from Flixton, Manchester, exposure was taken care of with the camera set to automatic. These images have not been retouched, the clouds really were these amazing colours.


Nacreous Image 1 Nacreous Image 2

Nacreous Image 11 Nacreous Image 12

Nacreous Image 3 Nacreous Image 4 Nacreous Image 5 Nacreous Image 6
Nacreous Image 7 Nacreous Image 8 Nacreous Image 9 Nacreous Image 10
This group of 8 images shows how the clouds changed over a few minutes.

If you are using Netscape 2.0 or highter there is an animation of the above 8 images. (65k)

Checkout this wonderful set of images taken on 30th Nov 99 from East Lothian Scotland by Brian & Susan Brown.

One of the above images is being used as part of a weather forecasting training reference on Mountain Wave Turbulence in the USA. Note to view the site your browser must be set for 128 bit encryption and click "yes" on the certificate challenge to continue.


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Maintained by Michael Oates
Page modified 19 January, 2005