I saw this driving home today (I did pull over to take the pic). The two vertical columns are developing rain cells. Even though we see this frequently in south Texas, the science behind this common scene never ceases to amaze me.
Water molecules get heat from the ground by convection and start to rise. They bind to dust particle to form droplets. The heat keeps them going up until the air becomes cool (loss of conventional heating). The clouds do absorb some radiant energy but the majority of the heat comes from the ground. Those clouds contain hundreds/thousands/millions of gallons of water and will have more mass than the car I am sitting in; yet they are floating and I am stuck on the ground. There is a lot of chemistry/physics here: bond angles within the molecule, positive and negative charges that form ions with other chemicals in the air, and the movement of electrons that cause lightning.
The force behind all of this is radiant energy from our sun. The photons or bundles of energy made an eight to nine minute trip from the sun to get here. Talk about speeding that is 670,616,629 mph. This heat affects us at the local, continental, and global level. These clouds/moisture are being pulled into a weather center thousands of miles from the Texas Gulf Coast. Heat and rotation of the earth build and move these fronts with the help of jet streams (wind bands) around the earth.
COLOR – Black and White
The white part of the clouds maybe easier to understand, but it is still awesome. Light is reflecting off of all those drops. They jumble the different colors of light together so we can see the clouds as white. The black part of the cloud is where the light is being reflected so that it does not make is to your eye. Someone at a different angle will not see what you see. We can say it is thicker or really heavy with water, but it still comes down to the light reaching our eyes.
COLOR – Blue
I tend to take the physics of a blue sky for granted. The angle of the earth and sun, air particle size, moisture, and pollutant level all contribute to our blue skies.
The very fact that we see it at all is another miracle. Our eyes are very complex chemical, muscular, and nerve-based organs that are protected inside our skull. They are attached to a marvelous creation that not only allows us to see the cloud, but to feel emotions and make hypothesis about what is happening, our brain. I am stopping and not talking about the camera that allowed me to take this picture
JUST A CLOUD, I DON’T THINK SO.
∞Father thanks for Your creation, and help us to remember that there are miracles all around us.