Night-shining cloud season begins in Antarctica

Noctilucent clouds – aka night-shining clouds – are thought to be made of ice crystals that form on fine dust particles from meteors.

Noctilucent clouds over Antarctica as seen by NASA's AIM spacecraft.  Image via

Noctilucent clouds over Antarctica as seen in November, 2014 by NASA’s AIM spacecraft.

We spotted this cool image at the great website on Thanksgiving weekend (November 27-30, 2014). The photo shows that NASA’s AIM spacecraft detected noctilucent clouds – sometimes called night-shining clouds – over Antarctica this November. That’s right on schedule. It’s summertime in the Southern Hemisphere now, and these clouds are typically seen at high latitudes in the summer. Their apparition marks the beginning of the 2014-2015 season in Earth’s Southern Hemisphere for these silver-blue clouds.

The secrets of night-shining clouds

Deborah Byrd