Be a part of our Noctilucent cloud photography showcase

It’s noctilucent cloud season!

We have teamed up with our friends at Go Stargazing to raise awareness of the mysterious and elusive noctilucent clouds. Named after the Latin for “night-shining” these night sky phenomena are where stargazing and cloudspotting meet. Normally, astronomers’ biggest fear is a cloudy sky, but they love these extremely high clouds, with their ghostly, rippled appearance, just as much as we do. We and Go Stargazing are therefore inviting our members and friends to contribute their favourite photographs of these formations to a new Noctilucent Cloud Photography Showcase, which we hope will become a go-to resource for nighttime cloudspotters. .

Noctilucent clouds, or NLCs, are the highest clouds in Earth’s atmosphere, located in the mesosphere at altitudes of around 76 to 85 km (47 to 53 mi). They are too faint to be seen in daylight, and are visible only when illuminated by sunlight from below the horizon while the lower layers of the atmosphere are in Earth’s shadow. Still not fully understood, they are most often observed from latitudes between 50° and 70° north and south of the Equator, visible only when the Sun is below the horizon. Noctilucent clouds appear during the summer months, so we are now in the season for spotting them in the Northern Hemisphere.

If you’ve managed to photograph one of these beautiful formations – whether it was this summer or on a previous year – why not submit it for inclusion in the photography showcase? We will publish the images as a cloudspotting resource both on the Cloud Appreciation Society and Go Stargazing websites. Gavin Pretor-Pinney (Member 001) will also discuss our favourites images in a special live broadcast about noctilucent clouds on the Cloud Appreciation Society Facebook Page.

To submit your image for inclusion in this showcase, upload it to Instagram tagging both @GoStargazing and @CloudAppSoc in the description or email it to (max size 5mb). Either way, please remember to include the location, date and time you took the photograph, as well as your name so that we can properly credit you. We can’t wait to see what you’ve managed to capture of these illusive nighttime cloud!

Submit your noctilucent cloud photograph:

On Instagram…

Tag @CloudAppSoc and @GoStargazing in the description.

…or by email

Send it to (max size 5mb).

Include the location, date and time you took the photograph, as well as your name so that we can properly credit you.

Photographers will retain all rights to their photograph(s). They will be giving permission to Go Stargazing and Cloud Appreciation Society to share their imagery with our respective audiences. Credit will be applied to the copyright holder in all instances.

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