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A few days ago, we got treated to something very special by the weather gods. Above Reykjavík, the most colourful of clouds appeared: polar stratospheric clouds or glitský as it’s called in Icelandic.

These iridescent clouds are very rarely seen and only appear under very specific circumstances. They are hanging in the stratosphere, between 15 and 25 kilometres above the Earth’s surface, where clouds are rarely formed. The colours are created by the rising sun’s light diffracting in ice crystals within these clouds. Because of their height, the sunlight that illuminates them is coming from below the horizon.

This article was also posted on my Behance profile.

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Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove

Jeroen is an award-winning Belgian photographer based in Iceland. The past years, he dedicated his photography to the Central Highlands & volcanic eruptions. Most recently, he received international attention for his work at the Fagradalsfjall volcano.


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Support Jeroen’s Work

As an independent photographer, Jeroen partially relies on your support to keep producing worthwhile content. Supporting his work is possible by buying his books, calendars or prints.

Additionally, you can sign up to the newsletter & photo workshop waitlist. Signing up grants you 10% off in the shop.