Formation of Clouds
A cloud can be defined as a collection of small droplets of water in the atmosphere. These droplets are light enough to float in the air. The air near the ground is in the form of water vapour. When a lot of water droplets or ice crystals come together they form a visible cloud. Clouds are white in colour because these water droplets are so large that they can scatter the light of the seven wavelengths and they combine to produce white colour.
Quick Facts: –
- Most of the clouds form in the troposphere which is the lowest part of the earth’s atmosphere.
- Mainly there are 3 types of clouds: – Cirrus clouds, Stratus clouds and Cumulus clouds.
- Thin and feathery clouds that appear high in the sky are known as Cirrus clouds. They generally form above 18,000 feet.
- Puffy and floating clouds that seem like white cotton balls or white smoke are known as Cumulus clouds. These middle clouds form at a height of 6,500 feet to 18,000 feet.
- Indistinctive and flat clouds are known as Stratus clouds that appear as plain sheets. As the name implies, these clouds are in the form of layers. They are the lowest clouds as they form at a height below 6,500 feet.
- Fog is an example of stratus clouds near to the ground.
- Clouds seem puffy and light to us but in actual, a cloud weighs more than an airplane due to the amount of water.
- If a cloud gets thicker or higher then it will not be able to scatter the light of all seven wavelengths. This is the reason sometimes clouds look grey in colour.
- Some other planets in our solar system like Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn also have clouds.
- Venus has clouds made up of sulphur dioxide. Jupiter and Saturn have clouds made up of ammonia.