NLC Photo gallery: Summer 2008
sky cameras for NLCs
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Summer 2009
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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, and 2008
  Photographer, Location Images Comments

Mike Hollingshead,
Blair, Nebraska, USA
Jul. 14, 2009
#1, #2, more

I've never seen these clouds before. And I'm often out looking. They are rather rare here in eastern NE. These two were telephoto between 100-400mm at a not so wonderful 800-1600 ISO(thanks to F4.5-5.6) for 15-20 seconds. Wish I had not recently busted the 50mm F1.8 as it would have been great for this. Well now that I look one was F5, 400 ISO 23 seconds and the other 1600 ISO F4.5, 16 seconds.

Eve Wills,
Dillon, Montana
Jul. 15, 2009
#1, #2, #3, #4

I awoke to a brilliant display of noctilucent clouds. They were so bright, that I would have assumed dawn was imminent, only it was an hour and a half until sunrise!

Joseph Marsh,
Shilshole Marina, Seattle, Washington, USA
Jul. 14, 2009
#1, #2, #3, #4

We have been waiting a long time to see this high altitude show in Seattle. It was a perfectly clear night, and we were ready after hearing of sightings in Oregon yesterday. Photos shot on July 14, 2009 between 2102 hrs and 2131 hrs. PDT looking northwest using a Canon G10 set at approximately f 3.5, 3.2 seconds, ISO 100 for each exposure.

Mark Poe,
Aberdeen, South Dakota, USA
Jul. 15, 2009
#1, #2, #3, #4

I had never witnessed NLCs before, and to be honest, I wondered if I would actually notice them if I did get the chance to see them. Wow, was I wrong ... these literally startled me! Thankfully, I was called to go meet a friend this evening, otherwise I wouldn't have been outside to see them. I walked out of my garage, and glanced up expecting to see a mostly dark sky, and this BRIGHT, electric blue bank of NLCs was filling most of the north sky ... gorgeous! I immediately turned around to get my camera, then went to a nearby parking lot to take these pics. Even though it had only been a few minutes, the brightness had faded somewhat from when I first saw them -- they were FAR brighter than what I was expecting. What a great display for my first viewing of NLCs!

Larry Karlson,
Spokane, Washington, USA
Jul. 14, 2009
#1, #2, #3

NLC taken near Spokane, WA USA at about 10:00 pm Pacific Daylite Time. They were very bright! In one shot you can see Ursa Major. Taken with Nikon D90 ISO 320 8s at f/8.

Steven J. Denfeld,
Bend, Oregon, USA
Jul. 14, 2009

Certainly the biggest display I've seen from Central Oregon, if not quite the brightest. Beautiful! Panasonic DMC-TZ5 ISO 100 30sec. exp.

Albert Frank,
Philomath Oregon
Jul. 14, 2009
#1, #2, #3

Olympus C8080 ISO 400 5-15 seconds exposure

more images: from Janis Woolbright of Woodland, Idaho; from Greg Ainsworth of Bozeman, MT; from Jason Barnable of Sioux Falls, SD; from Jim Tegerdine of Marysville, Washington;


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.