The secrets of night shining clouds
By Shireen Gonzaga | EarthSky.org
After sunset, when the sun is below the horizon but visible from the clouds high altitude, sunlight illuminates them, causing them to glow in a dark night sky.
Glowing silver-blue clouds that sometimes light up summer night skies in polar regions, after sunset and before sunrise, are called noctilucent clouds. Scientists studying these clouds, using data from NASAs AIM (Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere) satellite have found that year-to-year changes in noctilucent clouds are closely linked to weather and climate across the globe. One major discovery theyve made is that weather conditions in one hemisphere can have a profound effect on the other hemisphere.
Also known as night shining clouds, noctilucent clouds form in the highest reaches of the atmosphere called the mesosphere, as much as 50 miles (80 km) above the Earths surface. Theyre usually seen during summer in polar regions. After sunset or before sunrise, when the sun is below the ground horizon but visible from the high altitude of noctilucent clouds, sunlight illuminates these clouds, causing them to glow in the dark night sky. 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 theres water available to form ice crystals.
NASAs AIM (Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere) satellite has been observing noctilucent clouds since 2007, gathering data that will help scientists understand the characteristics of these extreme high altitude clouds that are closely linked to weather and climate across the globe.
A composite image, taken by AIM, of noctilucent clouds above the Southern Pole on December 31, 2009. Image credit: NASA/HU/VT/CU LASP
Noctilucent clouds over the Southern Hemisphere on January 30, 2010, taken by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA.
Read the full article at: earthsky.org
Top Image: Source: EarthSky.orgNoctilucent clouds, Soomaa National Park, Estonia. Image credit: Martin Koitmäe via Wikimedia Commons.
Video from: YouTube.com
Bizarre, Giant Tubular Cloud Rolling Across the Sea
Worlds Pyramids Beaming Energy To Mysterious Space Cloud
Giant Tsunami-Shaped Clouds Roll Across Alabama Sky
Lightning bolts illuminate the ash cloud from the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain in Chile (img)
CERN Experiment Confirms Cosmic Rays Influence Clouds - Global Warming Next?
Bizarre cloud behaviour - high altitude winds? Space weather? (Video 2)
Bizarre cloud behaviour - high altitude winds? Space weather? (Video 1)
Interesting Clouds over Kansas City
Mysterious cloud formations (Video)
Latest News from our Front Page
ISIS Oil Trade Full Frontal: "Raqqa's Rockefellers," Bilal Erdogan, KRG Crude, And The Israel Connection
"Effectively, we have been financially discriminated against for a long time. By early 2014, when we did not receive the budget, we decided we need to start thinking about independent oil salesâ -- Ashti Hawrami, Kurdistanâs minister for natural resources
In June of 2014, the SCF Altai (an oil tanker) arrived at Ashkelon port. Hours later, the first shipment of Kurdish ...
Prosecutors ban Soros Foundation as 'threat to Russian national security'
The Russian Prosecutor Generalâs Office has recognized George Sorosâs Open Society Institute and another affiliated organization as undesirable groups, banning Russian citizens and organizations from participation in any of their projects.
In a statement released on Monday, prosecutors said the activities of the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation were a threat to the foundations of Russiaâs ...
Israeli Colonel Caught with Islamic State (IS) Pants Down
This was definitely not supposed to happen. It seems that an Israeli military man with the rank of colonel was âcaught with IS pants down.â By that I mean he was captured amid a gaggle of so-called ISâor Islamic State or ISIS or DAESH depending on your preferenceâterrorists, by soldiers of the Iraqi army. Under interrogation by the Iraqi intelligence ...
Uh-Oh 14,000 Illegal Immigrants in Sweden Disappear without a Trace
More than 14,000 foreign nationals told to leave Sweden have instead gone underground, with police saying there is little they can do to enforce deportation orders.
A total of 21,748 people had been given deportation orders by the Migration Agency at the end of October â the largest number in history, the Aftonbladet tabloid reported on Friday.
Of those, 14,140 are registered ...
Munich Jews battle in court over Holocaust remembrance
Two Jewish groups in Munich are at odds over how to remember the Holocaust. The situation has escalated, and now one of the groups is suing the city. The argument centers on âStolpersteineâ - bronze memorial plaques that can be found all over Germany, but not in Munich.
In July, Munich voted to continue the ban on Stolpersteine first introduced in ...
|More News » |