Scenic Show: Clouds

Bart J D

Hall of Famer
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wee-pics

Legend
Location
Germany
Name
Walter
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I've never seen anything of this kind: clear dividing lines (from left to middle) in the sky. Except for darkening a little there's no PP, so that can*t be the reason. Quite obviously this phenomenon is in the higher strata. But why lines (except for condensation trails) and why parallel is beyond my understanding. Maybe there is an expert somewhere who can explain this.
 

John King

Member of SOFA
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Name
John ...
@wee-pics Walter, the sun is BIG! About 1,000,000 miles in diameter at the solar equator. The parallel lines are sunlight between shadows cast by the clouds. From the Earth's perspective, all sunlight can thus be thought of as parallel, even though it isn't at all

Anyway, many kinds of clouds are a bit of a mystery. The cause of high level stratus clouds (50,000 to 80,000 feet) was only discovered about 15-18 months ago.

They are caused by the interaction between the solar wind (solar radiation) and interstellar radiation effecting the upper atmosphere at times when our Sun is quiescent or during Solar Minima.
 
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