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Noctilucent clouds, also known as polar mesospheric clouds, are cloud-like phenomena in the upper atmosphere, visible in a deep twilight. They are made of crystals of water ice. The name means roughly night shining in Latin. They are most commonly observed in the summer months at latitudes between 50° and 70° north and south of the equator.
They are the highest clouds in the Earth's atmosphere, located in the mesosphere at altitudes of around 76 to 85 kilometers (47 to 53 mi). They are normally too faint to be seen, and are visible only when illuminated by sunlight from below the horizon while the lower layers of the atmosphere are in the Earth's shadow. Noctilucent clouds are not fully understood and are a recently discovered meteorological phenomenon; there is no evidence that they were observed before 1885.
Noctilucent clouds can form only under very restrictive conditions; their occurrence can be used as a sensitive guide to changes in the upper atmosphere. Since their discovery the occurrence of noctilucent clouds has been increasing in frequency, brightness and extent. It is theorised that this increase is connected to climate change.
Noctilucent clouds are composed of tiny crystals of water ice 40 to 100 nanometers in diameter and exist at a height of about 76 to 85 kilometers (47 to 53 mi), higher than any other clouds in Earth's atmosphere.[
Originally posted by seeker11[/]
It was just before sunset. That time when it's light outside but in the span of 20 minutes it darkens, so that may be when you saw them.