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The Cloud Appreciation Society

Live life with your head in the clouds! Our new book ‘A Cloud A Day’ is out now in the UK and out in November in the US:

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New research in the Arctic Ocean discovered bacteria associated with algae blooms found normally near the sea floor were present in the air above the ocean surface. Probably launched into the atmosphere by ocean currents and weather systems, these bacteria can help seed clouds by providing surfaces for water vapour to condense on and form droplets. The connection between algae blooms and clouds is interesting because in a warming Arctic, more algae blooms may occur, which could trigger more clouds, impacting weather patterns around the world. . ‘Ice Nucleating Particles Carried From Below a Phytoplankton Bloom to the Arctic Atmosphere’ by J. M. Creamean et al is published in Geophysical Research Letters (2019). Suggested by Julie Raymond-Yakoubian (Member 24,422) .

A cap cloud spotted over La Silica, Mexico, by 'sarahlee'

Stratus spotted over Jökulsárlón, Iceland, by 'jentedeschepper'

‘Fog over Water’ spotted by Russian painter Isaac Levitan at the end of the nineteenth century. Levitan is considered Russia’s master of the ‘landscape of mood’. His friend the opera singer Fyodor Shalyapin said of his art, “It has brought me to the realisation that the most important thing in art is this feeling, this spirit, this prophetic word that sets people’s hearts on fire. And this prophetic word can be expressed not only in speech and gesture but also in line and colour.” . Detail of ‘Fog over Water’ (c.1895) by Isaac Levitan in the collection of the Kirov Regional Museum of Fine Arts (Vasnetsov Museum), Kirov, Russia. Suggested by Andrew Pothecary (Member 3,769). .

Cirrus spotted over Mills, Wyoming, US, by Elizabeth Allred (Member 47,234)

A horseshoe vortex spotted over Seoul, South Korea, by Heesang Yoo (Member 26,989)

A mother duck, with duckling in tow, swims over the Sahara Desert. Spotted by John Marsham (Member 3,012) of the University of Leeds and the National Centre of Atmospheric Science, UK. .

UK publication day for our new book A Cloud A Day. Thanks to all the amazing members and friends of the Cloud Appreciation Society for contributing their stunning images of fantastic skies around the world. We’ve added the explanations. It’s our best book yet – by a long way! (See Instagram profile for link)

Lenticularis spotted over Fort Collins, Colorado, US, by @lainey.haas

Undulatus spotted over Central Park, New York, US, by @stacylewis . If you want to submit your cloud photos for our Instagram page please DM us and don't forget to mention where you spotted your clouds! .

Of the many optical effects caused by sunlight shining through cloud ice crystals, one of the more difficult to identify is the ‘circumscribed halo’. Not only does its shape change with the elevation of the Sun, it also closely resembles and overlaps the more common ring of light known as a 22-degree halo. Here’s how to distinguish the circumscribed halo. It’s rainbow-like colours are brighter and more distinct than those of a 22-degree halo, which often amount to little more than a white ring with a reddish inner edge. When the Sun is high in the sky, the circumscribed halo is round, but when it is lower it has more of an oval shape, intersecting with the 22-degree halo at the top and bottom. With a Sun that is lower still, the sides of the circumscribed halo’s oval appear to droop downwards. Nearer the horizon, and the sides of the halo disappear, at which point it is considered a two separate optical effects, known an upper and a lower tangent arc – you know, just to make things more difficult. . The upper section of a bright circumscribed halo and a faint 22-degree halo spotted in a thin Cirrostratus layer over Napa, California, US by Keelin (Member 41,642). .

This vast, eye-shaped sphere found in the constellation of Orion is imaginatively named 'NGC 2022'. It is a cloud known as a planetary nebula (due to its rounded appearance) composed of gases that have been shed from the outer layers of the ageing star visible in the centre. This star is now shrinking and becoming hotter, emitting lots of ultraviolet light that is interacting with the gases and making them glow brightly, producing this spectacle captured for all to see by the Hubble Space Telescope. . Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Wade .

Lenticularis spotted over Yakima, Washington, US, by @iphoto.mel

Asperitas spotted over the Rocky Mountains, Colorado, US, by @christopherives

Two feathers of cloud perfectly aligned in the skies over Waldoboro, Maine US. What can have caused them? A couple of aircraft climbing or descending through this layer of Altocumulus, that’s what. The features, known as ‘cavum’, or fallstreak holes, are where a region of the ‘supercooled’ droplets in the Altocumulus layer were encouraged to freeze by the air cooling in the vortices of the aircraft’s wings. But why are the two features so perfectly aligned? The two aircraft were likely following the same flight path, one a little time after the other, and the cloud layer simply drifting sideways in the wind between flights. . Altocumulus with cavum features spotted over Waldoboro, Maine, US, by Carole Martin (Member 44,094). .

Asperitas spotted over Cradley, Herefordshire, UK, by @sammy_gardens

Cape Reinga, from where this Cirrus uncinus cloud was spotted by Marianne Robson (Member 16,152), is a promontory of land at the far northern tip of North Island, New Zealand. The Māori people originally called this place Te Rerenga Wairua, which means 'the leaping-off place of spirits'. They believed the Cape, with its uninterrupted views of the sky and the vast Pacific Ocean, was where the dead depart the mainland for the afterlife. .

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