A Meeting of Minds - An Anne McCaffrey Discussion Forum  

Go Back   A Meeting of Minds - An Anne McCaffrey Discussion Forum > The Mezzanine > Exhibit Hall > Astronomy

Astronomy For the sharing of astronomical observations by our members with an interest, and pretty pictures for all to enjoy.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old Jul 19 2009, 07:46 AM   #1
StevenB
Bitsmith/Starsmith,
Master Sneak
 
StevenB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Scotland
Gender: M
Fan of: Skies of Pern: what else?
Now Reading: My computer screen
Noctilucent clouds

This summer is turning out to be a very good time to discover noctilucent clouds. These are the highest clouds in the Earth's atmosphere, almost at the edge of space. Nobody knows exactly why they occur, but they seem to be about their best around Solar minimum, and this year is turning out to be particularly good. See here for some reports of cloud sitings around the world.

It is well worth keeping an eye on the western sky after sunset to see if you can spot these rare but beautiful clouds. Lanen and I saw them a few nights ago, but we didn't see them at their best. They appear as a bunch of very faint ripples suspended in the sky around sunset. But if you wait for the sky to get darker the ripples turn electric blue. We made the mistake of going to bed too early - at the latitude of Scotland they are at their best after midnight this time of the year. At lower latitudes you might be able to see them at a more reasonable time. I'm going to keep looking for the next display. Good luck!
__________________
Steven
StevenB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 19 2009, 08:01 AM   #2
Cheryl
Master Archivist
 
Cheryl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Maryland, USA
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern!
Now Reading: Paladin of Souls (Bujold)
Default Re: Noctilucent clouds

I hadn't realized this year was an especially good year, but I have seen a lot of good pics of them lately on both the Astronomy Pic of the Day and the Earth Science PoD. They are beautiful indeed. I'll have to try looking for them in the sky instead of online!
__________________
Visit one of the other sites of Cheryl's Anne McCaffrey Triad:
Sariel's Guide to Pern: a detailed guide to the series
The Many Works of Anne McCaffrey: largest fan site about Anne and ALL of her works
McCaffrey Quest: annual trivia contest.
Cheryl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 19 2009, 09:31 AM   #3
Hans
Master Archivist
 
Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Gender: M
Fan of: Pern!
Default Re: Noctilucent clouds

What a beautiful phenomenon! Though I give myself a more than small chance (due to pollution both real and light in my area) I'll certainly be looking!
__________________
Hans, also known as Elrhan, Master Archivist

Visit The Pern Museum & Archives for all your Pern and Anne McCaffrey News and Resources!
The Pern Museum & Archives is the home of the Pern Encyclopedia and the Pern Bloodlines.
Hans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 19 2009, 01:39 PM   #4
granath
Talent
Tower Prime
 
granath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Proud Mom!
Gender: F
Fan of: Afra Lyon
Now Reading: Faye Upton: Dragonchoice 3
Default Re: Noctilucent clouds

Awesome. I've seen something like that a few times, but never when I had a camera with me. At 60 N they probably won't be visible until about mid-August though...
__________________
Decaf coffee is an oxymoron. Instant coffee is an abomination. Give me the real thing and nobody gets hurt.
"Do. Or do not. There is no try" -- Yoda
VP of the Afra Lyon fan club!
granath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 19 2009, 11:44 PM   #5
Lady Maelin
Master Artist


 
Lady Maelin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: California
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern,The Ship Who Sang
Now Reading: Anne's Pern EVERYTHING !
Default Re: Noctilucent clouds

The photos of these clouds are very beautiful. I'm not sure if we've seen anything exactly like them before or not. Not long ago we saw something that looked similar to two of the photos taken, but neither Martin or I are sure that they were the same type of clouds. Unforutnately like everyone else, we also had no camera handy to take photos.
__________________
"To the Horsehead Nebula and back we shall make beautiful music"..."Together!"

The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression,and their author always has a niche in the temple of memory from which the image is never cut out to be thrown on the rubbish heap of things that are outgrown and outlived........Howard Pyle
Lady Maelin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 20 2009, 12:03 AM   #6
Becky
Coelura
 
Becky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Washington
Gender: F
Fan of: Fav character - Lunzie
Now Reading: Love reading Lanen's books too
Default Re: Noctilucent clouds

I'll be looking for these clouds for sure now! Thanks for posting Steven!!!
__________________
Becky
aka Coelura1
Becky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 3 2009, 09:17 AM   #7
StevenB
Bitsmith/Starsmith,
Master Sneak
 
StevenB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Scotland
Gender: M
Fan of: Skies of Pern: what else?
Now Reading: My computer screen
Default Re: Noctilucent clouds

Elizabeth and I witnessed some of these amazing clouds during our recent holiday in Orkney. Elizabeth got up just after midnight at our B&B and noticed that the sky didn't look right. There was a mysterious light coming from the north west. We went outside and saw these clouds all along the horizon:

Here is a close up:

The dark shapes along the bottom of the pictures are "normal" clouds. They look blurred because they were being carried by strong winds and moved during the long exposure. The noctilucent clouds were well above the winds and stationary in the sky.

I'm really glad we got to see these clouds at last. This blows away my theory that we couldn't see them easily from Edinburgh because we were too far north and the sky remains too light at this time of year. Orkney is much further north, but it also has the advantage of being well away from city lights.

Has anyone else seen these clouds?
__________________
Steven
StevenB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 3 2009, 10:09 AM   #8
Becky
Coelura
 
Becky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Washington
Gender: F
Fan of: Fav character - Lunzie
Now Reading: Love reading Lanen's books too
Default Re: Noctilucent clouds

How wonderful that you and Elizabeth got to see the clouds! AND take pictures of them!
I haven't seen the clouds recently....it's been very hazy and cloudy since you posted about them. But I think I've seen them before. And since some of the pictures you linked to are from Spokane WA and that's only 2 hours away from where I'm located then it's a good chance that what I've seen are noctilucent clouds. And your pictures are the most similar to what I remember seeing. But I'll keep looking.
Oh, and we're due for meteor showers soon too, the Perseids, if I'm remembering correctly.
__________________
Becky
aka Coelura1
Becky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 3 2009, 02:10 PM   #9
StevenB
Bitsmith/Starsmith,
Master Sneak
 
StevenB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Scotland
Gender: M
Fan of: Skies of Pern: what else?
Now Reading: My computer screen
Default Re: Noctilucent clouds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Becky View Post
Oh, and we're due for meteor showers soon too, the Perseids, if I'm remembering correctly.
Yes, that's right - on August 12th. There is a 2 year old thread about the Perseids in this sub-forum. The date is still valid. I have posted there as well.
__________________
Steven
StevenB is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:25 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

A Meeting of Minds forum owned by Cheryl B. Miller.
All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey’s fiction are copyright © Anne McCaffrey 1967-2008, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author.