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Thread: Coloured clouds - what's the explanation?

  1. #1 When I was a kid.......... 
    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    When I was a kid (around 7 or 8) i can still remember one night, i stayed up late and what i saw in the sky that day, i have not seen since.

    It wasnt like the aurora, (which seems to shimmer) it was really weird............

    ..........what i saw was that every single cloud in the sky was a different colour of the rainbow. there WASNT a rainbow out there, it was dusk but each cloud overhead that i could see literally had a different colour. I was living in the midlands in England at that time.

    Does anyone know what this could be ? I was so amazed by it that i can remember getting my little brother who was 5 at the time to look at the window at it. he was amazed by it too.

    Does anyone know what that could be and what could cause such an effect ?


    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  3. #2  
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    Yeah, it's when the sun is at a low angle and there is moisture, dust and pollutants in the atmosphere, the colors you saw should have been - Blues, greys, oranges, maroons, yellows and reds - any other will probably be a result of faded memory.


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  4. #3 Oh i see......... 
    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    Oh......I see,

    So its caused by light refraction then between the particles of pollutants and water.

    I am sure that there were also green coulds and purple ones...but as you say this maybe down to faded memory.....

    .......Although.......why would each cloud be a different but particular colour ?
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  5. #4  
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    A mixture of refration and absorbtion, you can get an idea of what is going on by readiing this link, it's the closest I could find to what I am trying to say.

    http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/sky_blue.html

    It's an explanation of why the sky is 'blue' yet equally valid for why are the clouds red/yellow/orange/grey/white/ etc
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  6. #5  
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    Probably, you think that there was a cloud for every colour, but it might have only seemed that way, and there was infact only a few clouds. Is that explanation good enough?
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  7. #6  
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    Don't worry, I believe you! They're called nacreous clouds.

    http://www.atoptics.co.uk/nacr1.htm

    I saw these once when I was a kid- they look amazing. and yes they do come in green, purple etc :P
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  8. #7 Thank god !! 
    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    Thats pretty much what I saw !!!
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  9. #8  
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    Don't worry, I believe you! They're called nacreous clouds.

    http://www.atoptics.co.uk/nacr1.htm

    I saw these once when I was a kid- they look amazing. and yes they do come in green, purple etc
    I would like to see that too. I wonder how frequently this happens and is there any geographical requirement for this (like being in canada..)?
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