RARE rainbow coloured clouds have appeared over the Borders this morning (Thursday, December 21).

The iridescent clouds stood out against a background of darker clouds and the emerging light from sunrise.

The "beautiful" rainbow clouds have been appearing all over Scotland this week.

Peeblesshire News: 'Beautiful' rainbow clouds over the Borders this morning'Beautiful' rainbow clouds over the Borders this morning (Image: Aileen Osborne)

Known as nacreous clouds, the rare phenomenon only occurs in very low temperatures - especially in the winter months - and is caused by ice particles in the clouds.

The ice particles reflect light differently to larger particles found in other clouds which gives them their iridescent and rainbow effect.

Nacreous comes from the old English word 'nacre' which means mother of pearl - making it the ideal name for the iridescent clouds.