Noctilucent clouds over Europe last week

Adrien Mauduit in Denmark posted this video of last week’s fantastic display of noctilucent clouds – sometimes called night-shining clouds – to EarthSky Facebook. He wrote:

On the nights of the 12-13 and 13-14 of July, 2016, Denmark has witnessed two very powerful and bright noctilucent cloud shows in a row. The brightest and broadest I can remember to date anyway.

Noctilucent clouds are a beautiful seasonal phenomenon. The clouds appear at night and shine silver-blue. They sometimes light up summer night skies at high latitudes – say, about 45 degrees N. or S. – from May through August in the Northern Hemisphere and from November through February in the Southern Hemisphere. These clouds form in the highest reaches of the atmosphere – the mesosphere – as much as 50 miles (80 km) above the Earth’s surface. You can see in the video above that ordinary clouds are scuttling below them …

Noctilucent clouds are thought to be made of ice crystals that form on fine dust particles from meteors. They can only form when temperatures are incredibly low and when there’s water available to form ice crystals.

Thank you, Adrien!

Visit Adrien Mauduit’s photography page on Facebook

Read more about the “storm” of notilucent clouds in Adrien Mauduit’s blog

View a gallery of photos of the July 12-14 display

Read more: The secrets of night-shining clouds

Bottom line: Time-lapse video of July 12-14, 2016 noctilucent cloud display over northern Europe.

July 16, 2016

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