The Living Force
I also thought it was photoshopped or saturated, but apparently the website "Meteo France" (this is our national weather company) certified it was an original photo . Thanks for explaining all the differences, I thought a cloud with colors was automatically named a "noctulescent cloud". As for its unusual place of appearance, it was taken in March this year. We've had a pretty cold winter, maybe that's why it was able to appear this South of the Poles.may i suggest...
that this is not a noctilucent cloud ?
1) Mainly because Noctilucent Clouds in principle never are multi colorful, but more like monochrome electric blue looking in appearance.
They only appear when the sun is 6-11 degrees below the horizon and only during summer month (over the northern hemisphere). Now noctilucent clouds have increased, and become visible at lower latitudes, e.g Paris - albeit low above the horizon. The Pyrénées mountains I believe are too much in the south to even show any Noctilucent clouds.
2) the cloud on the photo - does have an interesting appearance because on one hand - it looks like a very thin Altocumulus translucidus cloud layer, which when the atmosphere starts to warm up at sunrise, can create these “holes” and “bubbles” (and then alltogether dissolving)
I have seen these over the island of Stromboli, north of Sicily (Italy) during runrise. Outmost beautiful, and with exactly the same shapes. But not multicolored. This could in theory happen, if the Altocumulus cloud is higher than usual, containing ice crystals.
But i have not seen them in multi colors like this with such strong colors (unless it was enhanced in photoshop !) clouds can have faint rainbow-ish colors occationally - but not that strong.
So called “sundogs” can have strong colors (in the presence of cirrus clouds and sun) but look very different (more dot or ellipsoid like - but they are covering only a very small area)
3) then there are so called Polar Stratospheric Clouds or “Nacreous Clouds” which do sometimes can have rather strong colors.
They appear in winter, in the Polar regions, over mountain chains in the north, with extreme wind speeds and exceptionally low temperatures in the stratosphere. Those often glow crazy strong, even after sunset and remind a bit of ufo’s sometimes.
I have seen that twice in my life over Stockholm. Very strange and fascinating clouds. The strong light emitted in comparison to other clouds, makes them exceptional !! So, they are rare phenomenas, especially outside of mountain chains high in the north. And antarctica.
My guess is that the image shows a thin layer of Altocumulus translucidus clouds which are about to dissolve at sunrise - and somebody wanted to impress by handsomely cranking up the saturation slider in photoshop.
Nevertheless - i do love the photo, colors and shape of those clouds. They usually do not last very long !
(since I am at work, I can’t show you images i have taken from the various ones just described)
I also thought it was photoshopped or saturated, but apparently the website "Meteo France" (this is our national weather company) certified it was an original photo . Thanks for explaining all the differences, I thought a cloud with colors was automatically named a "noctulescent cloud". As for its unusual place of appearance, it was taken in March this year. We've had a pretty cold winter, maybe that's why it was able to appear this South of the Poles.
If you ever have time, it would be nice if you could show us the photos you've taken.
Polar Stratospheric Clouds or "Nacreous Clouds"Altocumulus translucidus
Stromboli Volcano, Sicily, South Italy, Sep 2008
First out are the funny looking "spiderweb" clouds, made of Altocumulus translucidus in Southern Italy. What was striking (and reality was much better than the photos), was the fine strange details in the clouds. In reality it all looked more "ethereal" or "airy" compared to photos.