Picture of the Day: Iridescent Antarctica
Nacreous clouds (from nacre, or mother of pearl, due to its iridescence), which are also known as polar stratospheric clouds or PSCs; are clouds in the winter polar stratosphere at altitudes of 15,000–25,000 meters (49,000–82,000 ft).
Due to their high altitude and the curvature of the surface of the Earth, these clouds will receive sunlight from below the horizon and reflect it to the ground, shining brightly well before dawn or after dusk. [Source]
Though stunning in their beauty they are implicated in the formation of the ozone holes over Antarctica. The effects on ozone depletion arise because they support chemical reactions that produce active chlorine which catalyzes ozone destruction. [Source]
Deven, who is on currently on contract in Antarctica (and working 60 hour weeks), is an avid photographer by trade and passion. On the day he got this shot, he recalls:
“It was around -20F degrees (-28.8 celsius) ambient with wind gusts around 10 knots and I was at work. I wasn’t able to get away and set up a proper shot so I grabbed my camera and leaned into the back door jamb. This was the best I could do under the circumstances and I’m happy I could at least record these images.”
You can find the rest of the series over on 500px and see more from Deven at the links below.