Sky watchers have spotted a pearl cloud in Scotland, believed to be a rare ‘mother of pearl’ cloud.
Shimmering colors lit up the sky Sunday night and Monday morning.
According to the BBC, the clouds are known as some of the tallest in our atmosphere – and these clouds often come together in frigid conditions.
So what is a pearl cloud?
These clouds appear as large, thin disks that reflect bright colors.
According to the Met Office, “Nacre” means “mother of pearl” in Old English.
These rare clouds are known for their colorful lights.
“The colors are reminiscent of colors reflected from a thin layer of oil on water, an effect known as iridescence,” says the Met Office website.
How are they formed?
Clouds form in the lower layers of Earth’s atmosphere — above the polar regions when the sun is just below the horizon.
Pearlescent clouds then form from the ice particles, which are much smaller than the ice particles that form ordinary clouds.
The sun then reflects off these tiny ice grains, bringing out their pearly streaks—scattering light into different colors.
The Met Office added: “Due to their altitude and the curvature of the Earth’s surface, these clouds, illuminated by sunlight below the horizon and reflecting it to the ground, are very bright both before dawn and after dusk.”
Pearl clouds tend to form during very cold and dry weather conditions and are rare in the UK.
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Here are some pictures of the pearl cloud: