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Polar stratospheric clouds, also known as nacreous clouds (or mother of pearl, due to its iridescence), are clouds in the winter polar stratosphere at altitudes of 15,000-25,000 meters (49,000-82,000 ft). Usually the clouds only form over the poles during winter because the air in the upper stratosphere needs to be at least -78C.

Spectacular polar stratospheric clouds captured over Peru

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