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Spectacular Electric-Blue Clouds Appear Over Antarctica – Outburst of Noctilucent Clouds (+Video)

Wednesday, January 3, 2018 9:16
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Spectacular outburst of noctilucent clouds (NLCs). Night-shining “noctilucent” clouds create a magical glow in the night skies. 

ELECTRIC-BLUE CLOUDS CIRCLING ANTARCTICA: NASA’s AIM spacecraft is monitoring a vast ring of electric-blue clouds circling high above Antarctica.  These are noctilucent clouds (NLCs), made of ice crystals frosting specks of “meteor smoke” in the mesosphere 83 km above the frozen continent.

This is the season for southern noctilucent clouds. Every year around this time, summertime water vapor billows up into the high atmosphere over Antarctica, providing moisture needed to form icy clouds at the edge of space.  Sunlight shining through the high clouds produces an electric-blue glow, which AIM can observe from Earth orbit.
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A View of Noctilucent Clouds over Earth’s Polar Regions
View more AIM data at

Night clouds or noctilucent clouds are tenuous cloud-like phenomena in the upper atmosphere. They are made of ice crystals and are only visible in a deep twilight.

Clips, images credit: LASP/University of Colorado, NASA/AIM, ESA/HUBBLE & ESO



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