Noctilucent Cloud

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noctilucent cloud

[¦näk·tə¦lü·sənt ′klau̇d]
A cloud of unknown composition which occurs at great heights and high altitudes; photometric measurements have located such clouds between 45 and 54 miles (75 and 90 kilometers); they resemble thin cirrus, but usually with a bluish or silverish color, although sometimes orange to red, standing out against a dark night sky.

Noctilucent Cloud


a type of luminous, transparent cloud that sometimes appears in the upper part of the mesosphere at altitudes of 70–90 km. The structure of noctilucent clouds is somewhat similar to that of light cirrus clouds. Noctilucent clouds consist of aggregations of particles 10-4–10-5 cm in size that scatter sunlight. Such particles may consist of ice crystals formed upon condensation of water vapor that has been borne upward to high altitudes, or they may be volcanic or cosmic (meteoric) dust. It is possible that ice crystals form only around dust particles.

Noctilucent clouds were first investigated by V. K. Tseraskii in 1885. They are observed in the northern hemisphere between the latitudes of 45° and 70° and in the southern hemisphere between the latitudes of 40° and 65°. They occur only during the warm part of the year—from May through August in the northern hemisphere, with a maximum number of occurrences in July. The annual number of recorded occurrences observed from a given point may be as high as 20 to 30. Noctilucent clouds exist for periods of several minutes to several hours. In appearance they assume four basic configurations: gauze, bands, combs, and whirls. For observations from the ground, the best visibility is during nautical twilight, when the sun is 6°-12° below the horizon. Noctilucent clouds can also be observed during daylight if the observation equipment is raised aloft to high altitudes. Observations of noctilucent clouds are used to obtain data on the winds prevailing at the altitude of formation.


Bronshten, V. A., and N. I. Grishin. Serebristye oblaka. Moscow, 1970.


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To stud at 4 years and dam of: Noble Rose (1991 f by Caerleon; Gr2 winner in England), Harlech (1992 c by Caerleon; placed), Noble Pearl (1993 f by In The Wings; unraced), Napoleonic (1994 c by Suave Dancer; placed), Majestic (1995 g by Belmez; winner), Najm Al Bahar (1996 f by Caerleon; winner), covered by Linamix in 1996 and sent to Japan, where her only known produce was Noctilucent (1998 f by Lammtarra; Listed winner in France; visiting King's Best in 2002), returned to deliver Simeon (1999 by Lammtarra; Gr3 winner in England), then exported to UAE and dam there of a 2000 f by Green Desert.
Scientists had concluded previously that noctilucent dust has a cosmic origin.
The rare noctilucent clouds are formed from tiny ice crystals and are known for their thin streaky appearance, usually bluish or silvery in colour.
The Director spoke about Noctilucent Clouds and assistant Director, Dave Gavine, about the aurora in history.
The researchers contend that the massive amount of water vapor spewed into the atmosphere by the comet's icy nucleus was caught up in swirling eddies with tremendous energy by a process called two-dimensional turbulence, which explains why the noctilucent clouds formed a day later many thousands of miles away.
Noctilucent clouds form at altitudes as high as 50 miles and are made from ice crystals that glow when sunlight shines through them.
Meteor trails, satellites, the International Space Station, noctilucent clouds and the northern lights can all be photographed with long exposure photography.
There is always a sense of anticipation as the noctilucent cloud (NLC) season approaches.
STOCKHOLM (CyHAN)- Swedish photographer Peter Rosen took this close-up, time-lapse movie of Noctilucent Clouds (NLCs) over Stockholm, Sweden on the evening of July 16, 2012.