Noctilucent Clouds

In the late evening of the 28h of June 2024

 Fuerstenfeldbruck, South Germany


Noctilucent clouds appears in a height from 80 to 95 km. At the edge of the terrestrial atmosphere in the so-called Mesopause temperatures of -80 to -90C° usually prevails. An adiabatic relaxiation* of the along-transported water lowers the temperature of these clouds to apprx. -140C° down. Here a crystallization at smallest dust particles takes place. This particles were inserted by past volcanic eruptions and innumerable space starts. If at all, these clouds appears mostly in July and August. (Very seldom to observe this phenomena in South Bavaria!)




How you can differentiate this rare appearance on the western horizon from e.g. normal veil clouds at sunset? The singular steel-blue colouring as well as the enclosed filigrane feathery or honeycomb pattern are remarkable. Other formations are possible. Normal veil clouds are situated up to 13 km in the troposphere. While they appear rather grey, the noctilucent clouds appear gleamingly. The dawn retards up to one hour, and when beside these clouds the stars emerge, even the most sceptical observer would have to notice the luminescent difference.

*adiabatic relaxation: short, the reduction of temperature of a gas or a mixture by relaxation (e.g. decompression, principle air-pump)

Red Sprites 2107 by Th Boeckel

All Red Sprites, auroras, atmosp. phenom.

Red Sprites 2107 by Th Boeckel


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 ©2009 photos und text by Thorsten Boeckel, last modification 14.07.2009

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