The Sciences

Cloud appreciation society

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitMay 20, 2009 9:03 PM


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I'm fascinated by clouds. Most astronomers I know are interested in meteorology -- in much the same way sky divers are interested in gravity -- but in my case it's more than that. I love interesting clouds, ones with unusual shapes, coloring, patterns. Mrs. BA is sick of me grabbing her and saying, "Look at that one!" all the time, if that gives you a clue of how often I do this. Yesterday we had an odd cloud formation over my house; a layer with puffy cells in it that looked convective (that is, due to hot air rising and cool air sinking), and the lines between the darker puffs were bright, giving the whole thing the look and feel of a medical X-ray. I posted the image on Twitter and got lots of comments...

...but the one from BATweep Ted_Rex was special, because he mentioned the Cloud Appreciation Society. It's a website devoted to weirdos like me who like clouds. It has incredible pictures of clouds, and they're archived in categories like cloud taxonomy (nimbus, stratus, and so on) as well as ones that look like other things... my favorite that I saw was the one shown here, which is astonishing. There are places to talk about clouds and upload your own pictures. All in all, it's a fine way to spend a little time... so you should save it away. For a sunny day.

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