Science is the poetry of Nature.







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Posts tagged "Clouds"

Comet ISON above Canary Islands by Juan Carlos Casado

ISS over the clouds by Zoltán Pável

theshergottiteassociation:

Stratus nebulosus

(Photo credit: Divya M. Persaud, University of Rochester)

The stratus family of clouds is characterized by horizontal layering, unlike convective clouds, low altitude, dull color, and lack of features. These clouds can appear as fogs; however, they do not touch the ground, and are caused by the rising of fogs or the passage of cold air over an area. The “nebulosus” indicates that this stratus cloud is low-lying and uniform.

The above examples were difficult to identify. The clouds are still distinctly stratus, nonetheless. 

theshergottiteassociation:

Cirrocumulus
(Photo credit: Divya M. Persaud, University of Rochester)
These clouds appear from 5-12km in altitude. Consisting of ice and supercooled water droplets, cirrocumuli can become cirrostratus if the ice crystals cause the supercooled droplets to freeze rapidly, which may also lead to the formation of virga clouds (usually as falling ice or snow).
Cirrocumulus can also be iridescent - the ice crystals and droplets individually scatter the sun’s light to produce brilliant colors. The clouds are also known for forming beautiful sunsets, as they reflect un-scattered rays (yellow to purple).
Cloudlets of cirrocumuli are generally smaller and colder than those of altocumulus, which is similar in appearance. If seen with cirrus/cirrostratus across the sky instead of in patches, expect rain in under twelve hours.

theshergottiteassociation:

Cirrocumulus

(Photo credit: Divya M. Persaud, University of Rochester)

These clouds appear from 5-12km in altitude. Consisting of ice and supercooled water droplets, cirrocumuli can become cirrostratus if the ice crystals cause the supercooled droplets to freeze rapidly, which may also lead to the formation of virga clouds (usually as falling ice or snow).

Cirrocumulus can also be iridescent - the ice crystals and droplets individually scatter the sun’s light to produce brilliant colors. The clouds are also known for forming beautiful sunsets, as they reflect un-scattered rays (yellow to purple).

Cloudlets of cirrocumuli are generally smaller and colder than those of altocumulus, which is similar in appearance. If seen with cirrus/cirrostratus across the sky instead of in patches, expect rain in under twelve hours.

Photo credit: Divya M. Persaud, University of Rochester, and father - please don’t remove this credit!

Pictured above is a series of Altocumulus Castellanus (or ACCAS for short) clouds over Guyana, South America. These towers of clouds—best noted in the upper right corner—can range from an order of thousands to ten thousands of feet high, and are caused by mid-atmospheric instability. The ACCAS can additionally become cumulonimbus (storm) clouds when the right conditions, such as proper convection, allow them to grow.

The photo was taken at sunset from a plane, which allows for a unique view of the “turrets” of the ACCAS.

Photo credit: Divya M. Persaud, University of Rochester

This cloud is called a fallstreak hole, one of my personal favorite cloud formations. Fallstreaks are caused when the cloud supercools, thus lacking icing nuclei to allow the water droplets to freeze. When this freezing finally occurs in part of the cloud, it sets off a chain reaction, and evaporates the surrounding droplets to form the characteristic hole and the trail of ice at its center.

The supercooling of these clouds, which are usually cirrocumulus or altocumulus, can be caused by the passing of planes, or the influence of other clouds. It was very cool to see one of these in person!

kenobi-wan-obi:

Sun Halo With Parhelic Circle by Levin Dieterle

Halos around the sun or moon happen when high, thin cirrus clouds are drifting high above your head. Tiny ice crystals in Earth’s atmosphere cause the halos. They do this by refracting and reflecting the light. Lunar halos are signs that storms are nearby. [Earthsky]

A parhelic circle is a halo, an optical phenomenon appearing as a horizontal white line on the same altitude as the sun, or occasionally the Moon. If complete, it stretches all around the sky, but more commonly it only appears in sections. [**]

the other side of the clouds (by kees straver)

Waterspouts Over the Adriatic Sea

"Cumuliform clouds developed during our excursion, but the weather didn’t appear threatening. In fact, the atmospheric pressure was stable at 1024 millibars. Suddenly, we saw a line of funnel clouds straight in front of our boat! The photo shows the most recently formed waterspout in the foreground; the oldest spout, in the background, would disappear in a few seconds."Roberto Giudici

A new study that calculates the influence of cloud behavior on climate doubles the number of potentially habitable planets orbiting red dwarfs, the most common type of stars in the universe. This finding means that in the Milky Way galaxy alone, 60 billion planets may be orbiting red dwarf stars in the habitable zone.

Researchers at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University based their study, which appears in Astrophysical Journal Letters, on rigorous computer simulations of cloud behavior on alien planets. This cloud behavior dramatically expanded the habitable zone of red dwarfs, which are much smaller and fainter than stars like the Sun.

Current data from NASA’s Kepler mission, a space observatory searching for Earth-like planets orbiting other stars, suggest there is approximately one Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of each red dwarf. The UChicago-Northwestern study now doubles that number.

"Most of the planets in the Milky Way orbit red dwarfs," said Nicolas Cowan, a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern’s Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics. "A thermostat that makes such planets more clement means we don’t have to look as far to find a habitable planet."

Cloud Behavior Expands Habitable Zone of Alien Planets

Tornadic wall clouds tend to have strong, persistent, and warm inflow air. This should be sensible at the surface if one is in the inflow region; in the Northern Hemisphere, this is typically to the south and southeast of the wall cloud. [**]

Tornadic Clouds by Karen Spisak

odditiesoflife:

Rare Nacreous Clouds

Also called polar stratospheric clouds or mother of pearl clouds, nacreous clouds are mostly visible within two hours after sunset or before dawn. They blaze unbelievably bright with vivid, iridescent colors. These clouds are rare and occur in the polar stratosphere at altitudes of 15,000–25,000 meters. They are so bright because at those heights, they are still sunlit.

Although incredibly beautiful, they have a negative impact on our atmosphere. They create ozone holes by supporting chemical reactions that produce active chlorine which catalyzes ozone destruction.

(via odditiesoflife)

spaceplasma:

Above the Clouds

Space Shuttle Endeavour being ferried by NASA’s Shuttle Carrier Aircraft as it departs KSC. NASA pilots Jeff Moultrie and Bill Rieke are at the controls of the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. Photo taken by NASA photographer Robert Markowitz in the backseat of a NASA T-38 chase plane with NASA pilot Greg C. Johnson at the controls.

Photo Date: September 19, 2012. Location: Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Photographer: Robert Markowitz

Source: NASA - Flickr

thesciencellama:

DNA Clouds

ikenbot:

Keyhole in The Clouds

This photo was taken as the rain clouds began to build. Just as the sun was to set, it shone perfectly through the cloud, creating the “keyhole to heaven”. The Angel reflection around the outside of the cloud/light formation made this photo very unique.

(via afro-dominicano)