Known as noctilucent (meaning "night shining"), these clouds occur at around 85km above the Earth's surface often being visible from far northern latitudes between May and August during the persistent
twilight of the night. They are visible because they remain in sunlight (at their high altitude) although the sun is below the horizon for the observer on the ground.

Here are a few examples. Note: the lights visible in the clouds are not UFO's, but internal reflections of the bright terrestrial lights in the lens!


July 2003 June 25-26th 2004 July 6-7th 2004


NLC vsm.jpg (6133 bytes)

A nice example of noctilucent clouds taken over Falkirk in August 1998; 2 sec exposure through a 50mm lens at f/1.4.

A conspicuously bright display imaged just before midnight on the 13th July 2002. It had been a poor season from my location, but this was a nice event; 3 sec exposure through a 180mm lens at f/2.5.

The display above imaged from another location about half an hour later. Note changes in structure and brightness; 3 sec exposure through a 135mm lens at f/2.8.


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