Sky factsNature quiz
What is larger in the sky: the Moon or the Sun? (By apparent size)
Sometimes the Moon, sometimes the Sun. The Moon's orbit is elliptical, and its apparent diameter varies by 10%. This is why both total eclipses (if the Moon is larger) and annular eclipses (if the Sun is larger) happen.
Which direction was the camera pointing at while taking this picture?
North. The entire celestial sphere seems to rotate slowly around the North-South axis of Earth's rotation. So the camera must have been pointed North or South, depending on the hemisphere the photo was taken at. But the brightest star in the centre must be Polaris, at the south celestial pole currently lacks a bright star to mark its position.
This is a rare phenomenon called iridescent clouds. It occurs in the clouds with ...
Small droplets or ice crystals. The effect is similar to irisation. Iridescent clouds are a diffraction phenomenon caused by small water droplets or small ice crystals individually scattering light. Larger ice crystals do not produce iridescence, but can cause halos, a different phenomenon.
What does the Bortle scale refer to?
Brightness of the night sky. The Bortle scale is a nine-level numeric scale that measures the night sky's brightness of a particular location. It quantifies the astronomical observability of celestial objects and the interference caused by light pollution. It was created by John E. Bortle in 2001.
What cloud is it?
Cumulonimbus, from the Latin cumulus ("storm cloud"), is a dense, towering vertical cloud associated with thunderstorms and atmospheric instability, forming from water vapor carried by powerful upward air currents. If observed during a storm, these clouds may be referred to as thunderheads. Cumulonimbus can form alone, in clusters, or along cold front squall lines. These clouds are capable of producing lightning and other dangerous severe weather, such as tornadoes.
What cloud is it?
Cumulus clouds are clouds which have flat bases and are often described as "puffy", "cotton-like" or "fluffy" in appearance. Cumulus clouds can be formed from water vapor, supercooled water droplets, or ice crystals, depending upon the ambient temperature. They come in many distinct subforms, and generally cool the earth by reflecting the incoming solar radiation.