September 12, 2022 | 0 comments
An explanation for this remarkable meteorological phenomenon was shared online by NASA – but not everyone was convinced.
Resembling a bright multi-colored halo of iridescence nestled in a formation of dark clouds, it’s not difficult to see why this impressive spectacle has been drawing quite a bit of attention on social media.
It was spotted over China’s Yunnan Province back on September 6th.
An image of the phenomenon captured by Jiaqi Sun was shared on Facebook as NASA’s “Astronomy Picture of the Day”.
“Behind this darker cloud, is a pileus iridescent cloud, a group of water droplets that have a uniformly similar size and so together diffract different colors of sunlight by different amounts,” NASA wrote.
“The formation of a rare pileus cloud capping a common cumulus cloud is an indication that the lower cloud is expanding upward and might well develop into a storm.”
While this would seem to put the matter to bed, several social media users commented on the picture to claim that there was something suspicious about such a perfect (and unusual) cloud formation.
This led to a flurry to conspiracy theories, with some arguing that the cloud was a UFO, while others believed it to be evidence of secret government testing or geo-engineering projects.
Suffice to say, however, that NASA’s explanation for the spectacle is by far the most likely.