Mother of pearls

I remember seeing a cloud that was hovering in the sunset of our short lived days here in winter Norway. The cloud had a sharp, almost psychadelic mix of colors. I had just read about cumulus, and stratos clouds and beyond. None of the books actually mentioned this sort of cloud.

Although it is August as this post is being written, it`s still worth looking forward to some of the things you`ll see if you`re lucky – or just a resident who enjoys looking up at the sky.

In fact one time a guest came back from a boat trip, so excited. They had seen the northern lights!

This was impossible. They had only been gone for a few hours, and only during daylight. Granted it was January, so we don`t get any sun here at 69 degrees north, but I`ve never heard of anyone peering through the noon twilight to see the Aurora.

I instantly understood what they had seen, when i was shown a picture they had taken. It was a “Mother of pearls” cloud. Tempted as i was to lie and say that they had seen the Aurora, i had to tell them that this is much more rare.

The mother of pearls are only seen when the conditions in the upper atmosphere get extremely cold. Ice crystals reflected in the afternoon light, make this prism effect. Even many norwegians have never seen this phenomenon, but if you`re out observing the winter sky, you might be lucky!