Noctilucent Clouds

Over the past week or so, the UK has been getting some pretty good views of noctilucent clouds. These are amongst the highest clouds in Earth's atmosphere and are apparently at a height of about 80 km. They are usually too faint to be seen and so we see them when the Sun is below the horizon.

Stuart Atkinson of Cumbrian Sky has been providing great Twitter alerts to the noctilucent cloud (NLC) displays over the past week and has some great photos of the displays on his blog.

I'd never seen noctilucent clouds before so, the other night I wasn't entirely sure if the bright clouds in the north were NLC or not. I don't think they were although I may have caught some in the bottom right corner of a photo behind some low level cloud. Tonight, after seeing an ISS pass with my dad, I headed up our street to get a view to the north just in case. I was so glad I made the short walk as I saw the start of a really amazing display that was unmistakably NLC. I jumped in the car and headed north of the city to get less light-polluted views. I took photos from a couple of places and I've included them below. Click on the pictures for the bigger versions on Flickr.


Noctilucent clouds

Noctilucent clouds

Noctilucent clouds

I've included a video I created using ninety 10 second exposure photos. I had to stop because my camera lens started to fog up.

Mark Shaw has a really great panorama of the NLC activity taken from the edge of the Peak District near Glossop.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Sunday 09th Jun 2013 (03:10 BST) | Permalink
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