Transient Iridescent Clouds At Sunset
Taken by Peter Lowenstein on February 20, 2017 @ Mutare, Zimbabwe
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  Camera Used: Panasonic DMC-TZ60
Exposure Time: 10/2500
Aperture: f/6.4
ISO: 100
Date Taken: 2017:02:22 09:35:38
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On 20 February the sun setting through very finely striated cloud just above the horizon was accompanied by the development of patchy transient iridescence at the top of coarser cirrostratus cloud higher up (last image). The highlight of the display was a rainbow colored insect-shaped cloud which formed almost directly above the point where the sun was going down (first image). A few minutes later another cloud above and to the right became strongly iridescent and approached (second image). As the sun continued to set the colors in the first cloud faded while those in the second one became much brighter (third image). This is because only the higher cloud was still able to catch the last rays of the setting sun. Transient iridescence in high cloud is quite common at sunset but in this case the colors in the last cloud to be illuminated were particularly bright but persisted for less than 5 minutes. The photographs were taken using a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 camera in intelligent auto mode and up to x40 zoom magnification.
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