The magic of mother-of-pearl clouds: A stunning visual experience

The magic of mother-of-pearl clouds: A stunning visual experience

In a remarkable feat of videography, Adrien Mauduit of Night Lights Films has captured stunning timelapse footage of polar stratospheric clouds, also known as nacreous clouds, in northern Scandinavia. The four-day journey resulted in 64 finished timelapse sequences and over 200 GB of data, showcasing the formation and evolution of the clouds over the course of several minutes.

The clouds, known for their iridescent colors, are some of the highest and most beautiful in the world. They are formed at an altitude of between 15 to 30 km (9 – 18 miles) and only occur in the winter months above polar regions where the stratosphere is at its coldest.

Adrien traveled to several locations, including Malangen and Skibotn in Norway and the Kilpisjärvi area in Finland, to capture the rare outbreak of polar stratospheric clouds. The footage was captured on Canon R, Canon 6D and Sony a7sIII cameras using various lenses ranging from 20mm to 600mm.

These clouds, with their strong iridescent colors, are visible to the naked eye and offer a surreal and almost fairy-tale-like experience. The footage captured by Adrien provides a detailed and intimate look at these clouds, showcasing their mesmerizing colors and their evolution over time, depending on the angle of sunlight refraction and their shape and thickness.

The release of this sizzle reel marks a significant achievement in capturing the beauty of polar stratospheric clouds and offers viewers a glimpse into the beauty of the natural world.

YouTube video

Adrien made his road trip during a recent rare outbreak of these clouds, when the temperatures in the Arctic stratosphere dropped to the range required for the formation of very rare Type II PSCs.

Featured image credit: Night Lights Films – Adrien Mauduit (stillshot from the video)


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