Noctilucent Cloud Gallery
June-July 2003
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What are noctilucent clouds? Good question. They hover near the edge of space, glowing electric blue. Some scientists think the clouds are seeded by space dust and fed by rocket exhaust. Others suspect they're a telltale sign of global warming. Whatever causes these mysterious clouds, they are lovely, and summer is a good time to look for them. Observing tips: Although noctilucent clouds appear most often at high latitudes--e.g. places like Scandinavia and Canada--they have been sighted as far south as Colorado, Utah and Virginia. Look west perhaps 30 minutes to an hour 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.

Unless otherwise stated, all images are copyrighted by the photographers.

  Photographer, Location Images Comments

Vance Petriew, Saskatchewan, Canada
July 19


GIF: small (90 kb), larger (460 kb)

AVI: small (290 kb), larger (1 Mb)

V. Petriew: "I took 10 second exposures on my Olympus C-2100UZ every minute for 21 minutes and combined them in Paint Shop Pro's Animation Shop. The first frame was taken at 2:41 AM CST on July 19th, 2003 and the last frame was taken at 3:02 AM CST. Notice how the sky brightens during that time period as we are still in perpetual twilight at 52 degrees North Latitude until next week"

Phil Hart, Aberdeen, Scotland
July 13
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5

Phil Hart recorded these images using a Canon EOS 10D digital SLR and exposures ranging from 1/20 to 5 seconds.

Lance Taylor, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
July 15
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5

In some of these photos, Lance Taylor managed to capture green auroras and pale blue noctilucent clouds (NLCs) in the skies of Edmonton at the same time. Note the contrast between the glowing NLCs and the dark ordinary clouds in the forground.

Jorma Koski, Sondby village in the city of Porvoo, Finland
July 14

J. Koski: "It does not get really dark here in the north, but a couple stars, the Moon, Mars and phenomena like these noctilucent clouds can be seen during the few darkest hours. I used a Canon EOS-D60 digital camera with a 20mm wide angle lens. Exposure time was 2 seconds at f/2.8."

Glenn Thomas Hvidsten, Kongsberg, Norway
July 13

Photo details: Canon Digital Ixus V3 at 1 second exposure

Anders Mørup-Petersen, Lillerod, 30 km north of Copenhagen, Denmark
July 12
#1, #2

Anders Mørup-Petersen: "It was raining heavily all evening, but as the sky started to clear up close to midnight, it was easy to see that 'something was up.' Before I got out on the countryside, the noctilucent cloud had dissolved a bit, but luckily, heavy clouds were still covering the full moon to the south. Thse pictures were taken with my Canon S30 at 8 seconds, aperture 2.8 with iso 50 film. Notice the darker 'normal' clouds at the horizon!"

Ian Kiming and Camilla Bacher, 15 miles
south of Copenhagen, Denmark
July 12
#1, more

C. Bacher: "This very nice field of noctilucent cloudswas the fourth I have seen this year. Since 1991 it has been a tradition to keep an eye out for them before going to bed."

Mats Mattsson, Stockholm, Sweden
July 9
#1, more

Photo details: Olympus Camedia 2040Z. Exposure time 1 second at asa 100.

Ludvig Nathell, Vinslov, southern Sweden
July 5
#1, #2, #3, more

L. Nathell: "It was a very good and bright show of Noctilucent Clouds, which I saw from my garden in Vinslov."

Tom McEwan, Kilbirnie Loch, Scotland
July 2, 3, 4
#1, #2, #3, more

Photo details:50mm to 200mm lens, 3 to 12 sec exposures on 200 iso print film.

Dr. Russell Cockman, near Falkirk, Scotland
July 3-4
#1, #2, #3, more

R. Cockman: "Very bright against the perpetual twilight, the display covered essentially the entire northern half of the sky to an altitude of 15deg; the variety of structures present and the noticable change over timescales of minutes was breathtaking...the best I've ever seen! As dawn approached the clouds became visible at elevations as high as 60deg. Even a casual observer couldn't help but see them! Images taken thru a Nikon CoolPix 4500, 4sec exposures at effective speed of 400ASA. "

Brian Whittaker, high above the North Atlantic ocean
July 1
#1, #2, #3, more

Brian took these pictures through the window of an airplane flying over the North Atlantic ocean. "For several hours, all night long, we had brilliant Noctilucent clouds," he says.

Steven J. Denfeld, Bend, Oregon, USA
June 27
#1, #2

S. Denfield: "Being a casual observer of the night sky, this was the first time I have knowingly seen these clouds. It was not a very large display, but it caught my eye very directly and was beautiful to behold." Photo details: Canon Powershot S45 digital camera, exposures unknown.

Lance Taylor, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
June 19, 27
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9

Photo details: Canon T-70 on Fuji ISO 200, 8-10 second exposures at F1.8

Kevin Jeske, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
June 19, 23, 29
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5

Photo details: Fuji Superia 400 film with a 28mm lens at f2.8, 10 sec exposures

Brian Nilsson, Denmark
June 26-27
#1, #2


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