Astronomy Picture of the Day

An Iridescent Pileus Cloud over China
Image Credit & Copyright: Jiaqi Sun (孙嘉琪)

Explanation: Yes, but how many dark clouds have a multicolored lining? Pictured, behind this darker cloud, is a pileus iridescent cloud, a group of water droplets that have a uniformly similar size and so together diffract different colors of sunlight by different amounts. The featured image was taken last month in Puer, Yunnan Province, China. Also captured were unusual cloud ripples above the pileus cloud. The formation of a rare pileus cloud capping a common cumulus cloud is an indication that the lower cloud is expanding upward and might well develop into a storm.

Tomorrow’s picture: big red

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