The image of an extraordinary cloud formation in the sky over Bursa, Turkey, last week spread on social media causing many to speculate about UFOs and other-world phenomena.
But the orange-tinted formation some thought resembled a flying saucer had an earthy origin.
The cloud formation is called a lenticular cloud. It is a stationary cloud that can form near an area of high mountains. Bursa is in northwest Turkey in the foothills of Mount Uludag near the Sea of Marmara.
The double-ringed, oval cloud sat above the city for about an hour before dissipating, Anadolu Agency reported.
Lenticular clouds form primarily in the troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere of the Earth. They form due to wind fluctuations, including winds moving downward in the sky, according to the US National Weather Service.
“Lenticulars are formed when strong winds blow across complex terrain, causing the water vapor in the air mass to alternately compress, then decompress, and thus condense into shapes which roughly mirror the terrain beneath,” according to NASA.
Lenticular clouds happen all over the world.
According to the Washington Post, lenticular clouds are often seen drifting above Mount Rainier.
According to the Post, the cloud was probably around 10,000 to 20,000 feet high.
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