Nature Science

UFO, lampshade? Look at this lenticular cloud hovering over Japan’s Mount Fuji

They look like flying saucers or marshmallows.

These UFO-looking lens-shaped clouds called lenticular clouds often develop near the peaks of mountains, as in the case of Mount Fuji in Japan.

Lenticular clouds form when strong winds force air up and over a topographic barrier such as a mountain. Once the rising air hits the obstructive peak, an “eddie”, and then mixes with the upper-wind, the air deflects the mountain wind downward to create the lampshade looking clouds.

Here’s a collection of lenticular clouds forming in different settings — over buildings, volcanoes, and grassy fields. You love to see it!

Nature Science

Tokyo’s skyline turns pink and purple colors before typhoon Hagibis

As Typhoon Hagibis approached Tokyo on Saturday, residents captured images of an unusually pink skyline that gradually turned a spooky purple. 

While beautiful the vivid skies augured what would become a dangerous storm that unleashed heavy rain and strong wind. A magnitude 5.7 earthquake also shook Tokyo shortly after.

NPR reports 19 dead and 16 missing in Tokyo and its surrounding prefectures thus far. 

The colorful skies are a result of a process called “scattering,” where the sunlight shining down on Earth gets kicked around the moisture in the air giving rise to the pink and purple hues.

The typhoon left Tokyo late Saturday, leaving the city with a crystal clear blue sky on Sunday morning.