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Interesting cloud formations

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Couldn't find an appropriate forum, so here will have to do. I received these images among a number of others on various subjects. No explanation or details.



















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What a beautiful thin a cirrus cloud is (top left).


Ice crystals in cirrus clouds mostly form by condensing on seed particles rather than freezing straight from the water vapour. It also seems that cirrus are fussy – not just any particle will do. The majority of crystals, 61 per cent on average, form around two types of seed that account for less than 1 per cent of the particles found at the altitudes where cirrus form. These are the fine mineral dust from sources such as deserts, and tiny specks of metals including lead, zinc, tin, copper and silver. Very few cirrus ice crystals condense around the sulphates and soot that are more abundant at that altitude and are common seeds for clouds at lower elevations. The water vapour is more likely to stick to and freeze on minerals and metals than the sulphates and carbon particles that are also floating around. This could be because their crystalline structures are full of small cracks where ice crystals form easily.


Beautiful as they are in macro-form, and full of metal in micro-form, cirrus clouds have a sinister side. Cirrus clouds trap heat, so they play a role in global warming.



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The second picture is of 'mammatus' or 'mammatocumulus' clouds. These usually hang from cumulonimbus clouds, as seen in the pic you show.


And yes, they are named from the Latin after their similarity to a pendulous breast :)





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Some more stunning cloud and related photos.























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Some more stunning cloud and related photos.













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