The Mysterious Cloud of the Night
Cloud of the Month for August is the elusive night-shining, Noctilucent cloud. This type of cloud forms in the extreme cold of the mesosphere, the region of the atmosphere above the stratosphere, at altitudes of around 30 to 50 miles (48–85 km). Because of their extreme height, Noctilucent clouds reflect sunlight long after sunset, as can be seen seen from the dark sky in AJ Hidding’s photograph over Hoogeveen, the Netherlands.
Noctiulcent clouds can only be spotted during the summer months and then only occasionally. They always have an eerie blue, rippled appearance and the processes behind their formations are far from clear. Which all adds to add to the appeal of a Noctilucent cloud sighting by any avid cloudspotter. Well done to AJ Hidding for capturing this fantastic display!
Photograph © A J Hidding.