17 Stunning And Scary Features I Didn't Know The Sky Had

1.This solar halo observed in China. Solar halos occur when light from the sun or moon reflects off ice crystals in cirrus clouds.

Birds in front of the sun

2.These "sun dogs" on either side of the real sun that occur 22 degrees on the left, right, or on both the left and right of the sun, depending on where ice crystals are present.

sun dogs in the sky
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3.These mammatus clouds, which typically form when there's turbulence in cumulonimbus clouds.

mammatus clouds in the sky
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4.This lenticular cloud that looks photoshopped. Lenticular clouds form when the air is still and wind blows constantly from the same direction.

a lenticular cloud in the sky
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5.The belt of Venus, a pink band over the darkened horizon at a specific time during twilight that's reminiscent of the belt the roman goddess Venus wore.

the belt of Venus
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6.This fire rainbow here that's caused by, you guessed it, ice particles. The particles in the sky paired with the sun at a certain angle. The light refracts and creates a rainbow effect on the cloud.

a fire rainbow in the sky
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7.This red sprite, which I mention every chance I get because HOW WEIRD, RIGHT?! Red lightning occurs high in the atmosphere. Even though it can be as much as 30 miles across, it only lasts a fraction of a second, making it difficult to observe.

a red sprite
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8.This double rainbow is caused by light reflecting twice through a water droplet. It's pretty impressive, but...

a double rainbow
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9....I would say this supernumerary rainbow is more impressive. Yeah, that's right, it's a rainbow with extra colors. These rainbows occur when all of the falling water droplets are roughly the same size.

supernumerary rainbow
MP_Foto / Shutterstock

10.These "undulated asperitas" clouds that I had to make sure were real because they look like they came straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. They're apparently so rare, they escaped classification until 2015.

undulated asperitas clouds
David McColm / Via

11.This "incredibly rare" upward lightning strike that's making me wonder why Thor has it out for us.

an upward lightning strike
@StoryfulNews / Via

12.This sun pillar that occurs when the light from the sun reflects off ice crystals falling through the air.

a sun pillar
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13.When sunlight diffracts from the ice crystals inside a cloud, they create "mother of pearl" clouds or nacreous clouds.

mother of pearl clouds
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14.This is not an island in the distance. It's a fata morgana, a type of atmospheric mirage created by refraction.

a fata morgana in the distance
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15.These weird webby noctilucent clouds that are a pretty rare formation that can only be seen in the clear summer months.

noctilucent clouds
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16.This Brocken spectre, which is actually just your shadow cast on mist and amplified below you. Sometimes, a rainbow halo can form around it. WILD.

a Brocken spectre
Swen Stroop / Shutterstock

17.Finally, my new favorite weather phenomenon, a STEVE. STEVE stands for Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement, and is essentially a light ribbon in the sky caused by hot plasma. STEVEs take place in the same area that auroras do.

STEVEs in the sky
carasava bogdan / Shutterstock

In summary, the Earth is amazing, and I need to do more googling.