Condensation Trail Iridescence

Jurgen de Boer (site) imaged this aircraft and contrail near to sunset on 2nd May. The aircraft was 10-20° from the sun. The structured iridescence is interesting. Seven or more colour bands are visible. The water droplets or ice crystals of the condensation trail will have had similar formation histories. Perhaps this produced rather uniform sizes and mean size variation along the trail thus accounting for the uniform colour bands?

Posted by Les Cowley

Posted on May 13, 2011, in coronae and iridescence, observations and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Claudia Hinz said…

    A very nice Pic. Are you sure, that””s produced by WATER droplets or crystals?

  2. Les Cowley said…

    Hard to say which – supercooled water is possibly more likely than ice after such a short time?

  3. Claudia Hinz said…

    On the other hand is in a contrail a lot of material, which suitable as condensation nuclei for creation of ice crystals. According to earth observations form under these conditions ice crystals many faster…

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