Those night-shining summer clouds are back again!
I generally don't care for clouds but I make an exception for these! Noctilucent clouds are seeded by meteor smoke and are the highest clouds in the atmosphere. They form about 80 km (50 miles) above the ground and only appear around the poles during the summer months. Northumberland strikes a nice balance between being far enough north but not so far north that it doesn't get dark enough to see them.
Noctilucent clouds appear between June and August every year but the frequency is related the solar cycle. We expect to see more during solar minimum years when the upper atmosphere is colder. Hopefully there will be many more opportunities over the next month or so to see them.
Go outside a couple of hours after sunset and look for these delicate blue-white clouds over the northern horizon.
Welcome to my blog!
Dr Adrian Jannetta. Amateur astronomer, maths teacher and science enthusiast.