11 December 2012
Last updated at 12:05
Beautiful iridescent clouds have been brightening the evening and early morning skies across Scotland over the last few days. Known as nacreous or mother of pearl clouds they are formed some 15-25km (9-16 miles) high in the stratosphere at temperatures below -78C. Neal Weston photographed these in Temple of Fiddes, Aberdeenshire on the evening of 9th December. He says: "I've never seen any before and they were quite beautiful."
Seen after sunset and before dawn in winter, they are so bright because their great height means they are lit by the sun from below the horizon. Mairi Johnson spotted these over Kingussie at the weekend.
14-year-old Michael O'Neill took this photograph from Macduff, Aberdeenshire on Sunday.
Ian M Brown took this photo on his phone whilst out walking in Countesswells Woods near Aberdeen on Sunday.
Most commonly appearing in the polar regions, it is relatively rare to see such a good display in the UK. These clouds play a part in the formation of ozone holes, as they contain chemicals which destroy ozone. Scott Crawford captured these clouds above Fraserburgh, north east Scotland at sunset on Sunday.
Samantha Whipps took this photo at Chapel of Garioch, near Inverurie, Aberdeenshire on 9th December.
Howard Eakin also saw the clouds above Banchory on Sunday. He says: "We saw these incredible rainbow-coloured clouds. I have never seen anything like these before. They lasted for about 10 minutes."
Laura Adams took this photo on Sunday in Collieston on the north east coast of Aberdeenshire.
Lucille Harries took this photograph in Kemnay, Aberdeenshire on Sunday.
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