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Rainbow Wave Clouds / Iridescent Cirrus Forming in Timelapse V10877

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Uploaded on Feb 20, 2012

These interesting clouds were filmed over Santa Clarita, California in February of 2012. They were forming along with a large lenticular-like cirrus wave structure, about an hour or so before sunset, and provided some very colorful displays.

Rainbow effects in the sky are normally caused by water droplets or ice crystals in the atmosphere, which separate and bend different light wavelengths (colors) and send them in different directions as sunlight passes through them.

The rainbow effect can easily be created with sunlight passing through the spray from a common garden hose, but things get a bit stranger when different sized water droplets or unusual-shaped ice crystals are involved - as can easily be the case at high altitudes. The physics of light refraction and diffraction are both complex and fascinating to study, and well worth few minutes in Wikipedia to learn a bit more...

It's interesting to note that one area of the sky seemed particularly prone to producing bright rainbow colors in some, but not all of the clouds that happened to form or pass through that area were affected. The localized colors reminded me of how a Sundog makes a more-or-less stationary bright or rainbow-colored area at a certain angle to the sun under certain conditions, but in this case the rainbow spot seemed to move around more than is typical for a Sundog.

The soundtrack is "St. Thomas" from the "TimeShift" CD by Technician (yours truly), album and single track available on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/time... full artist discography and CDs available at HTTP://technician.jcmdi.com

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