Saturday, December 22, 2012

Iridescent clouds spotted in Singapore - 20 Dec 2012

On Thursday late afternoon, received a whatsapp message from KK asking me why people are looking and photographing the Sun at his work place. I thought it was some Mayan End-of-the-World prank. But thanks to amateur astronomy which influences us to verify the truth for ourselves and not to believe things at face value, I decide to take a quick peek out of the window at 6:06 pm.

Wow! I have never seen anything like that in person.

Quickly took a photo of it using my phone. Due to the poor performance of phone camera in high dynamic range environment, the shot is under-exposed. The overall sky was brighter than photographed.

The red patch in the middle was really intense and compact - like a small fiery ball.

Hazrie also noticed it at Bishan and shortly twittered this photo he took:

Roughly 20 minutes later, I took a look at it again and photographed it.

The crepuscular rays shooting up and out from that band of coloured clouds were truly breath-taking. Again, my photo failed to do justice to this beautiful painting in the sky. It felt unreal. Like watching a CGI animation in a Hollywood movie like Thor. Quickly pulled my Mum to the window so she can take a look too.

As expected, members of the public also took photos and some of them were submitted and published in STOMP. Check out the nice photos there --> "Rainbow-like" Clouds spotted in Woodlands and Khatib

Did some research to find out what is the best description of this phenomena. Came across this photo which matches closely to what was observed. The description is "Iridescence in thin pileus cloud above a backlit thunder head. Crepuscular rays from the low sun add to the spectacle." Check out this photo here -->

This video shot by YouTuber gueguensefalso in Nicaragua is very close to what we saw that day:

For more stunning images of such beautiful wonders in the sky, click on this Google image search result.

Regretted not making an attempt to video it with my video camera which was just lying a few feet away or with my phone camera. Too excited with the live visuals.

Anyway, hope to see it and captured it again soon!

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