Firstly im not sure if 'Fragile Earth' is the right forum to post this??
On 25th June 2012 at around 2:40am I looked out the window before I went to bed and noticed something glowing in the sky, I turned my lights off and
looked out the window and see the clouds were glowing so I quickly grabbed my camera to take some shots. At first I thought it may of been the Moon
behind the clouds but checked and the Moon was not in that part of the sky so what next came into my mind that it was either a UFO (reminded me of a
scene from 'War of the Worlds' the version with Tom Cruise where the storm clouds throw down aliens.) but thought to myself no thats too far fetched
or the Northern lights but there was no light movement. After some research I found out that they are Noctilucent clouds which are very rare clouds
that are only witnessed during the summer months close to the North pole during twilight hours when the sun is just below the horizon.
Noctilucent clouds are composed of tiny crystals of water ice up to 100 nm in diameter and exist at a height of about 76 to 85 km (47 to 53 mi),
higher than any other clouds in Earth's atmosphere. Clouds in the Earth's lower atmosphere form when water collects on particles, but mesospheric
clouds may form directly from water vapour in addition to forming on dust particles. Some scientists say these clouds are witnessed further from the
poles due to global warming but NASA disagree on this statement.
After a little more research I also read that sometimes these clouds form from volcanic eruptions.
I took over 20 different photo's between 2:45am and 3am using a Sony NEX 5 with a SEL 18-200mm lens and the SEL 16mm pancake lens. I took the photo's
with the camera in night shot mode which made the whole landscape brighter then what it actually was with the naked eye. The photographs are raw
straight from the SD card with no editing or tampering.
Here is a slideshow video of all the photo's:
Anyway I thought I would post this, as its something a bit different from the usual doom and gloom posted here and its something out of the ordinary
to see this in London.
edit on 25/6/12 by justjoemusic because: Edited to rephrase a sentance.
edit on 25/6/12 by justjoemusic because: (no reason given)
edit on 25/6/12 by justjoemusic because: edited to add some photo's
looks like breaks in the clouds showing blue sky to me, either the sun setting or rising but you say it's at around 3am so that can't be right. The
horizon looks quite colourful as if it were sun setting/rising aswell although maybe it's light pollution. It just doesn't look like what you're
saying it is to me sorry.
I don't know what the poster above me is on about. I don't see why you would lie. This would have been at least an hour and a half to two hours before
sunrise so the night mode of the camera may have picked up some early dawn light that was starting to appear on the horizon but that wouldn't explain
the electric blue noctilucent clouds higher up.
I think they are great photo's. Unusual to see them with the urban London landscape. Thanks for sharing
edit on 25-6-2012 by fiftyfifty
because: (no reason given)
maybe you should read that he said his camera was in "night mode" and made it look brighter than it really was. sheesh. the photos are GREAT
shots of some cool looking clouds. it's not like he's saying they are aliens..... just unusual clouds and pretty pictures.
25-6-2012 by pasiphae because: (no reason given)
Excellent! Definitely noctilucent clouds. I'm annoyed I forgot to look out last night ..... Never forget the first time I saw them.
Haven't seen any yet this year - June is the best month to see them in Britain, though they can be sighted through to August. Best times are
usually an hour or two after sunset or before sunrise.
Wow those ones in Norfolk looked much better then the ones here in London. Thanks for posting them. I will definately be on the look out for more in
the coming months if the UK weather sorts itself out
2:30am to 3am in London would not be pitch black darkness late June when looking out towards the horizon between sunset and sunrise.
It's only a few days after summer solstice so even it's still a couple of hours before sunrise it makes perfect sense to me as on cloudless or
limited cloud coverage night this time of year the horizon between were the sun sets and rises would not be completely dark at any point during the
"night" at this latitude.
As for the colour of the clouds this is due to the clouds being of very high altitude reflecting weak sunlight back to earth and is only ever visible
when the sun is below the horizon from the point of view of the observer.
You can even see in the images the black silhouette of the odd low lying cloud in front of these lights. These clouds are too low and not bouncing any
sunlight whilst the noctilucent clouds being right at the top of the atmosphere are bouncing some sunlight back to earth.
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