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The Cloud Appreciation Society

Look up, marvel at the ephemeral beauty and live life with your head in the clouds!

The Cloud Appreciation Society (@cloudappsoc) Instagram photos and videos

List of Instagram medias taken by The Cloud Appreciation Society (@cloudappsoc)

‘Chiaroscuro’ is the technique developed by artists in the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci, Carravagio and Rembrandt in particular – that uses strong contrasts of light and dark tones to heighten the drama of a painting. Now where, we wonder, did they get that idea? . Cumulus and Cumulonimbus, spotted at sunset off the coast of Pagedongan, Banten, Indonesia by Nizma Arifin (Member 36,177). .

Fallstreak holes spotted over Marshfield, Massachusetts, US, by @micjophoto

The photos that appear on our Instagram account are those that are submitted on our Cloudspotter app, but because our followers on Instagram spot some great skies we would love to share these also! DM us your cloud photos and don't forget to mention where they were taken! . A rainbow spotted over Utah, US, by @carey_pierce

Lenticularis clouds can appear sometimes like a stack of plates. The striking arrangement of celestial crockery results, like all lenticularis clouds, from the airflow rising and dipping in standing waves in the lee of the peaks of mountains or hills. What makes it different from the individual discs of a more standard lenticularis cloud is the stratified nature of the flowing air. Alternating layers of moister and dryer air flow in unison. Where this invisible flow rises as a crest and cools, the moisture-laden layers produce more extensive cloud than the drier ones in between. The stack-of-plates form of lenticularis is known by the term ‘pile d’assiettes’, which is of course French for ‘your turn to wash the dishes’. . The pile d’assiettes form of Altocumulus lenticularis spotted over Mono Lake on the eastern side of the Sierras Nevada mountain range of California US by Robert Rosenbaum (Member 47,381). .

A fallstreak hole spotted over Oostduinkerke-Bad, Belgium, by 'lievenn'

Noctilucent clouds spotted by 'Jaco Bruggeling'

On 21st October 1638, a thunderstorm raged over the village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor in Devon, England. A service was being held in the local church at the time, which was interrupted by what the reverend later described as a “great fiery ball” entering through a window. The strange apparition caused chaos inside, killing four members of the congregation and injuring 62 others. It was one of the earliest recorded incidences of ball lightning, a phenomenon associated with thunderstorms that has been reported many times since but is still little understood. Unpredictable and transient, it has been practically impossible to study, and so there are several competing theories for its cause. To this day, the “great fiery ball” that caused so much havoc in a Devon church in the 17th century remains one of the unsolved mysteries of nature. . Detail from frontispiece of ‘An invective against Cathedral Churches, Church-Steeples, Bells, etc.’ (1656), by Samuel Chidley. .

A shelf cloud spotted over Plainview, Minnesota, US, by Suzanne Winckler (Member 41,844)

A glory spotted over Adelaide, Australia, by Joanne Cook (Member 44,795)

“Then the sun's noon-splendour Filled the cloud with light, Though a soft and tender Yet intensest white; And the wanderer weary Joyed that it was made, For it gave to him a cheery And a grateful shade.” . 'The Cloud' - by an unknown author, from 'Excelsior: Helps to Progress in Religion, Science, and Literature, Vol. VI' (1856) edited by James Hamilton. . Crepuscular rays shine forth from a Cumulus congestus cloud over Sangkhlaburi, Thailand spotted by Shivanthi (Member 38,273). .

A cap cloud spotted over Cairns City, Queensland, Australia, by 'ksanders101'

Undulatus spotted over Gridley, California, US, by 'Matthew Bettelheim'

Noctilucent clouds, whose name means ‘night-shining’, are the most mysterious clouds. They were first recorded in 1885, when they were noticed following the eruption of Krakatoa, which sent vast quantities of ash into the atmosphere. They occur only in the summer months, which means that we are now in the season for spotting noctilucent clouds in the Northern Hemisphere. They are the highest clouds on Earth, forming up in the mesosphere at altitudes of around 50 miles / 85 km. The cloud’s ice crystals seem to form only in regions higher than 50° latitude, and they are believed to freeze around particles of dust that originated from meteors breaking up in the upper atmosphere. It still a mystery as to how enough moisture reaches this part of the atmosphere to produce the ice, since it is in fact extremely dry. One thing we know for sure is that they are a rare and magical sight for lucky cloudspotting night owls. . Noctilucent clouds spotted by Pablo Alvarez on a flight over Luxembourg. .

A sun pillar spotted over Ranheim, Norway, by Siw Storsve (Member 41,666)

A shelf cloud spotted over Manter, Kansas, US, by Christina Brookes (Member 33,764)

In a French summer scene, ox-eye daisies carpet a field beneath a sun-blushed sky, in which a Cumulonimbus storm cloud retreats towards the horizon, its underside hanging with the pouched cloud features known as mamma. Spotted over Savoillan, Région Sud, France by Gijs van Zonneveld (Member 19,407). .

A tuba spotted over Saint Helier, Jersey, by Lou Wagstaffe (Member 32,417)

Asperitas spotted over Oslo, Norway, by Marco Scherer (Member 43,054)

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