These Rainbow Contrails Captured By A German Photographer Are Oddly Mesmerising To Watch

Rainbow Contrails Captured By German Photographer, Nick Beyersdorf

A Qatar Airways plane was recently captured while bringing color to the sky with a mesmerizing rainbow trail from its wings. The aircraft was emitting multi-colored clouds that are also known as rainbow contrails while it flew over Bamberg, Germany. The sight was captured by a German photographer by the name of Nick Beyersdorf, who is twenty years old.

Rainbow Contrails Captured By German Photographer, Nick Beyersdorf

Nick captured this moment of rainbow contrails while he stood about 26,000 feet beneath the aircraft in the back garden of his home with his mother. Mr Beyersdorf has been carrying out plane spotting for about five years now and said, ‘This is hands down the best picture I’ve taken in this year, and I think nothing will beat it. It is just awesome that 600 tons of aluminum can fly that high above you. Due to the atmospheric conditions, it was producing a contrail that started from the wings. And due to the sun’s angle, the contrail reflected the light perfectly to create a rainbow effect.’

Rainbow Contrails Captured By German Photographer, Nick Beyersdorf

Nick Beyersdorf is an experienced air photographer and said that he was ‘overwhelmed and speechless’ after capturing ‘the contrail reflecting the light perfectly to create the rainbow effect’. While talking about the moment when he was able to capture the Qatar Airways flight making rainbow contrails, he said, ‘I was in the garden with my mother, and I got my camera with me because I saw a Qatar Airways plane appearing over the neighbor’s house. And I saw that it had an interesting contrail behind it. It wasn’t starting like normal contrails from the engines but from the wings. So I took quite a few pictures. Due to the angle of the sun, the contrail started to get rainbow colors. I adjusted the settings of the camera slightly to make sure I could get the best shot. Then I saw that there were big condensation clouds from the wings and I took a lot more pictures.’

Rainbow Contrails Captured By German Photographer, Nick Beyersdorf

A conventional contrail is the line of cloud that is created thanks to the jet exhaust of an aircraft at high speeds. It is comprised of ice particles that form because of the freezing temperatures at high altitude. However, when a contrail is created closer to the sun, it is able to transform into rainbow contrails on account of reflecting light.

Rainbow Contrails Captured By German Photographer, Nick Beyersdorf

Anyway, check out the amazing rainbow contrails captured by Nick Beyersdorf and let us know what you think of them!


  1. Hsaive Reply

    Relative humidity at flight level would need to be near saturation of >90% to allow this This type of full-wing persistent contrail formation. Persisten contrails are much different than water vapr contrails that disappear. The sun angle does not explain the multi-variate colors in the presence of mere water vapor. More likely explanation is a chemical release as expert observers have witnessed for decades espacially since 1990.

  2. randy sanders Reply

    This is an interesting atmospheric phenomena. nice colors. Newton would be proud.

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