08.16.16 - ScienceCasts: Electric Blue Sunsets
NLCs are Earth's highest clouds. Seeded by meteoroids, they float at the edge of space more than 50 miles above the planet's surface. The clouds are very cold and filled with tiny ice crystals. Those tiny crystals do a good job of scattering blue light from the rising or setting sun—hence their electric blue color.
Noctilucent clouds appear during summer because, ironically, that is the only time the upper atmosphere at high latitudes is cold enough to crystalize molecules of water around specks of meteor dust. The role of meteor dust in forming NLCs is one of many discoveries made by AIM, which NASA launched in 2007 to study the mysterious clouds.
James Russell, principal investigator for AIM at Hampton University says, "These clouds continue to reveal intimate details about how the atmosphere works. Each season yields new information.”
NASA's AIM spacecraft is discovering unexpected "teleconnections" in Earth's atmosphere that link weather and climate across vast distances. “Earth's poles are separated by four oceans, six continents and more than 12,000 nautical miles. Turns out, that's not so far apart. New data from NASA's AIM spacecraft have revealed "teleconnections" in Earth's atmosphere that stretch all the way from the North Pole to the South Pole and back again, linking weather and climate more closely than simple geography would suggest.”
06.07.13 - Noctilucent Clouds Get an Early Start
NASA Science News
Noctilucent clouds have surprised researchers by appearing early this year. The unexpected apparition of electric-blue night-shining clouds hints at a change in the "teleconnections" of Earth's atmosphere.
- CBS Evening News Glow-In-The-Dark
They were first seen more than a century ago, clouds that
seem to glow in the dark. Now they're showing up more and
more often, and some are trying to find out why. Byron Pitts
Time-lapse photographs of NLC clouds produce beautiful effects
of moving and forming clouds. These movies are created by
Jacek Stegman at Stockholm University's Department of Meteorology,
NLC time-lapse movie gallery
NASA and related videos about the AIM Mission and Night Shining Clouds