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Summer 2011
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  Observing tips: Look west 30 to 60 minutes after sunset when the Sun has dipped 6o to 16o below the horizon. If you see luminous blue-white tendrils spreading across the sky, you've probably spotted a noctilucent cloud. Although noctilucent clouds appear most often at arctic latitudes, they have been sighted in recent years as far south as Colorado, Utah and Virginia. NLCs are seasonal, appearing most often in late spring and summer. In the northern hemisphere, the best time to look would be between mid-May and the end of August. See also 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009
  Photographer, Location Images Comments

Naomi Weidner,
Albany, Oregon, USA
Jul. 1, 2011

Last night (7/1/2011) I went out to photography the International Space Station as it went by, but it was still kind of light out (9:55 pm PDT), so I played around photographing some trees in my yard. I thought these clouds looked a little like Noctalucent clouds, but figured they were just jet trails until I saw that there were Noctalucent clouds visible in Oregon last night. This was taken in Benton County, Oregon near Albany.

John Houghton,
Newtown Linford, Leicestershire, UK
Jul. 2, 2011

A stunning display of clouds this morning that lit up a quarter of the sky from north to east, undoubtedly the best of the year so far. This panorama was created from 5 separate shots merged together in Photoshop and still doesn't capture the full extent of the clouds. Taken with a Nikon D700 and Nikon 28-70 f/2.8 lens (4 sec @ f/4.8, ISO 400, f = 28mm)

Adrian Maricic,
Loch Leven, Fife Scotland.
Jul. 3, 2011
#1, #2, #3, more

Without a doubt the best Noctilucent Clouds I've witnessed. They were so strong the clouds were reflected on the surface of Loch Leven. The display was awesome, and growing as time went on. I've never seen one so strong and widespread before!

Jon Cooper,
Hardendale, Shap, Cumbria, United Kingdom
Jul. 3, 2011
#1, #2

Amazing! Spotted them at 1am and watched for 2 hours. Only just come in. They gradually moved further south as I watched. Full of structure and very vivid. Camera was hand held pocket digital set to available light. Oh, and my dog came and watched.

Colin Boyle,
Coatbridge, Scotland, UK
Jul. 3, 2011

I sat watching in amazement as the clouds started forming around 1am. By 1.45am the display was spectacular. Three wide angle images stitched together to form a panoramic view. 20s exposure at F7. Nikon D200 with Sigma EX 24-70 lens.

David Storey,
From the Isle of Man Observatory
Jul. 3, 2011

Great display of bright nlc this morning. NLC visible all night but got better as the night/morning progressed. Amazingly bright!

more images: from Robert Britschgi of Seattle, WA; from Lee Smojver of Tukwila, WA


Northern Lights Photo Gallery: A solar wind stream hit Earth on May 20th causing a mild geomagnetic storm and Northern Lights around the Arctic Circle. The auroras of May 21st were so bright, they were visible in the twilight blue sky above Nunavik, Quebec.

"The sky is blue at 1 o'clock in the morning when I took these pictures," says photographer Sylvain Serre. "At our latitude at this time of year, it is blue all night long--and it's never a dark blue. So, at 1 o'clock in the morning, the sky is bright and I can see only a few stars."

In spite of this extra glare, Serre was able to see the auroras. "I saw them with my unaided eyes. The clouds made it difficult, but the clouds were moving slowly while the northern lights were moving faster." This, plus the green color of the auroras, made it possible to sort things out.