Nothing in life escapes official designation, everything has a name, there’s a name for everything. Take Pareidolia, who knew it defined the rabbit your minds’ eye sees in the oil slick on the garage floor? Be it ink blot, cloud formation, piece of driftwood or crisp edge of a grilled cheese sandwich – familiar objects or patterns in completely unrelated objects or patterns are pareidolia.
Here’s the so-called “face on Mars” as originally captured in a 1976 image from the Viking 1 orbiter. Click here to see how subsequent spacecraft revealed the “face” to be simply a play of light and shadows.
Cloud streets are long rows of cumulus cloud oriented parallel to the direction of wind. Cloud streets are a product of convection – rolling waves of rising warm air met by sinking layers of upper atmosphere cold air. Atmospheric science 101 – clouds form when water droplets contained in rising warm air condense on introduction to sinking cold air.
The MODIS instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite captured these cloud streets over the Bering Sea on January 20, 2006. Image via Jesse Allen/ NASA. Read more about this image.
Cloud streets are technically called horizontal convection rolls. Typically observed from satellite eyes above, cloud streets generally form over vast expanses of ocean water. Unique to cloud streets are cloud free zones on either side created by sinking cold air.
Every cloud has a story, explanation and reason for being there. Next time you look up, remind yourself of exquisitely balanced natural forces responsible for life as we know it.
Noctilucent clouds are a weather phenomenon unique to summer months at latitudes between 50 and 70 degrees north and south of the equator. Inhabiting the mesosphere at altitudes of 75-86 kilometers, science regards noctilucent as highest clouds in Earth’s atmosphere. Too faint to be seen in daylight, there’s good reason why they’re known as luminous or night shining clouds. Noctilucent clouds can only be illuminated by sunlight below the horizon at astronomical twilight when lower levels of the atmosphere are in Earth’s shadow. Learn more at – https://www.almanac.com/news/weather-news/it-came-outer-space
For immediate noctilucent gratification, ponder noctilucent perfection by Adrien Mauduit of Night Lights Films –