By Bunmi Adigun @Bunmi_Adigun

THESE rare nacreous clouds illuminate the sky like something from a science-fiction movie

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Videogpraher / director: Ashley Cooper
Producer: Nick Johnson
Editor: Ian Phillips

Cloudy Day: Residents of Ambleside, Cumbria were treated to a natural light show

Residents of Ambleside, Cumbria, were surprised to see a dazzling array of colours when they looked skyward yesterday.

All of the lights: The natural light show was mistaken for the aurora borealis

The clouds have been visible in various parts of the UK over the last few days - with many Brits mistaking them for the aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights. 

The impressive light display was caused by a natural phenomenon known as cloud iridescence. 

Rare sight: The natural phenomenon is known as cloud iridescence

Cloud iridescence happens when tiny ice crystals or water droplets in the air cause the light from the sun to be scattered.

The beautiful display took place yesterday evening as the sun was setting - allowing residents to view the clouds in all their glory.

Science bit: Cloud iridescence happens when ice crystals in the air cause light from the sun to scatter

The windy weather added to the spectacle as the ice crystals were blown across the region due to the extreme wind speed.

This uncommon phenomenon only occurs with certain types of cloud formations - the thinner the cloud the more likely we get to see this incredible event.

Thin air: Newly formed clouds have a more colourful display

Experts claim newly formed clouds showcase the brightest and most colourful displays, due in part to their density.

Picky: Only certain types of cloud formations can produce such a spectacle

The occurrence of the colours in the sky is similar to those seen in oil films on puddles.

The density of oil is thinner than water allowing for light to diffract through the film of oil and cause colours to appear.

Similarities: Oil films on puddles diffract light in the same way

Photographer Ashley Cooper, who took the images, said: ‘’In the 30 years I have been observing the weather, I have not seen anything like this before.’