The same concept applies to clouds at night . Because of the lack of sunlight, there’s no light to pass through the clouds, so from below, we see totally black clouds. However, like rain clouds, this isn’t totally black.
Why do clouds turn dark?
Clouds appear dark when they are thicker and denser than normal clouds of a day of mild weather. As a cloud gathers more water droplets and ice crystals, it become thicker and allows less light to pass through it.
When it’s about to rain, clouds darken because the water vapor is clumping together into raindrops, leaving larger spaces between drops of water. Less light is reflected. The rain cloud appears black or gray. Clouds form when air becomes saturated, or filled, with water vapor .
Some clouds are white and some are “black” due to two chief reasons: 2) viewpoint and/or background (contrast). Concerning optical thickness: it is a technical term that just means that a thicker cloud has more droplets of water for the light to scatter off of.
A cloud can look dark or gray because it is partially transparent and the blue sky behind it can be seen through the cloud. This will happen in light wispy clouds with little water content, and more often in ice crystal clouds.
With no light passing through it, the bottom of rainclouds are often dark gray or black – this is the part of the cloud we see just as it is about to rain. But if you took a plane and flew over a raincloud, you would see that the top parts are still white, even as it rains. The same concept applies to clouds at night .
Another frequent question is “Why do clouds sometimes look so low?”.
This was mostly the result of fewer clouds forming at the highest altitudes, according to a NASA release. Scientists are not sure why this happened, but it might be due to a change in atmospheric circulation patterns at high altitudes, Davies said.
How to get the darkest night possible?
Fly at night with no cloud and no moon to give the darkest night. But that would not solve your issue if you do want clouds. I have a setting on my displays that I can switch to when flying at night. The RGB is adjusted to give the darkest appearance possible. Only suggestions as you know we cannot achieve total darkness like in real life.