Screaming clouds

Fikke, Svein M. ; Kristjánsson, Jón Egill ; Nordli, Řyvind

Année de publication
'Mother-of-pearl clouds' appear irregularly in the winter stratosphere at high latitudes, about 20-30km above the surface of the Earth. Mie scattering from cloud particles with sizes near the wavelength of visible light is responsible for their extraordinarily beautiful colours. There were no reported observations of such clouds before 1870. We argue that the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch may have been terrified after seeing a spectacular mother-of-pearl cloud event and that this experience prompted him to paint The Scream.

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