Polar Stratospheric Cloud by Tania Engbo Dyck-Madsen
This trippy photo reveals the vibrant beauty of the extremely rare polar stratospheric clouds, also known as nacreous or mother-of-pearl clouds. Photographer Tania Engbo Dyck-Madsen didn’t think she’d ever get a chance to capture an image like this after she missed her chance two days earlier. But luckily, another of these ethereal clouds appeared during her trip to Norway, and this time she had her camera gear at the ready.
“This beautiful, but rare cloud appeared in the sky while I was on holiday in Norway, and luckily, I had my camera and tripod with me, so I could capture this amazing scene.”
Most of our weather occurs in the lowest level of the atmosphere, called the troposphere. Just above that lies the stratosphere, beginning some 10 kilometres above the Earth’s surface. Since the stratosphere is extremely dry compared to the lower troposphere, clouds rarely form at these altitudes. But when they do, they can look magnificent – as Tania’s photo illustrates.
Particles in the clouds scatter light, causing interference patterns, and leading to the colourful fringes shown in this photo.
Photo location: Øvre Svatsum, Espedalen, southern Norway
Photographer based: Copenhagen, Denmark
Camera: Nikon Z5 and 24-200mm/4-6.3 lens. Taken at 200mm