An extremely strange cloud appeared in the skies above Turkey last week. Stunned onlookers grabbed their phones to record the phenomenon.
The cloud resembled a UFO and formed at sunrise last Thursday above the city of Bursa, northwestern Turkey is known as a lenticular cloud.
The golden tones of the early morning added to the spectacle, giving the cloud an eerie reddish-orange appearance.
What is a Lenticular Cloud?
Lenticular clouds are known for their curved, flying saucer-like appearance and are typically found at heights of 6,500 to 16,400 feet (2,000 to 5,000 meters).
They are usually found floating over a mountain top or mountain ridge. They are formed in the troposphere, the lowest region of Earth’s atmosphere when it is on the cusp of saturation.
When air flows over the mountain tops, it provides enough cooling to reach saturation and for a cloud to form. This means that air is constantly flowing through it. Once the air sinks again, it becomes warmer and drier, leaving saturation and becoming invisible once more.
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While they appear static, the strong winds flowing through them mean that pilots will avoid flying near lenticular clouds because of the turbulence associated with their presence.
Deborah Byrd of EarthSky says: “These lens-shaped clouds typically form where stable moist air flows over a mountain or a range of mountains.
“When this happens, a series of large-scale standing waves may form on the mountain’s downwind side. If the temperature at the crest of the wave drops to the dew point, moisture in the air may condense to form lenticular clouds.”
Lenticular clouds sometimes resemble the shape of flying saucers and they are believed to be the most common explanation for UFO sightings across the world.
Lenticular clouds signal precipitation within the coming days as the atmosphere moistens ahead of the incoming storm. In the case of the cloud in Turkey, a weak cold front was approaching western Turkey on Thursday, and it moved through the area on Friday, according to Fox Weather.
Image credits: Header photo by Hafize Aktas.