Unusual Cloud Over North Pole
|Source: NASA Noctilucent Clouds|
Noctilucent Clouds At Extremely High Altitudes
The image just released by NASA is spectacular. They show Noctilucent clouds, which are clouds that appear in the very high atmosphere during twilight in the hour after sunset. The clouds continue to reflect light even though the sun is below the horizon for those of us on the ground,
NASA says this rare phenomena has been increasing in the past ten years. They add the likely cause is Climate Change which has increased the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. The new image, obtained by several satellite passes, shows reflectivity measurements gathered by NASA's Aeronomy on Ice in the Mesophere (AIM) spacecraft mission, as light from the clouds bounce back into space.
Light Show From Space
The season for Noctilucent clouds lasts from late May until August. NASA explains that as the earth's lower atmosphere warms with spring and summer, the upper atmosphere gets cooler. Ice crystals collect on meteor dust and particles, creating electric blue wisps and patterns on the edges of space, 50 to 53 miles above the earth. It's Mother Nature's version of a light show from space.