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A Guide to Rare Nacreous Clouds (Polar Stratospheric clouds)

Despite their beauty, nacreous clouds are worrying scientists. You wouldn't think of such a delicate pretty looking cloud as being destructive, but that's exactly what the mother of pearl cloud is - they are helping to destroy our ozone layer.

Beautiful display of Polar Stratospheric Clouds over Edinburgh this morning. Also known as Nacreous or Mother of Pearl clouds. They can be caused when high winds on the surface cause ripples high up in the Stratosphere, and it was certainly a bit breezy last night!

Noctilucent Clouds ~ Unlike the similar Polar Stratospheric clouds, noctilucent (or polar mesospheric clouds) occur in the polar mesosphere. These clouds are only visible when the sun is below the horizon and they are composed entirely of ice. They are less likely to be rainbow colored and tend to glisten like crystal due to the level of ice contained in them.

Nacreous clouds are also known as polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs), and can be seen in the polar countries of the northern and southern hemisphere. Alan R. Light, Caption from Pinterest link