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Have I seen my first noctilucent clouds?


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Although I have often looked, I have never yet seen noctilucent clouds.

Walking back to the house from my observatory at 00:30 Saturday 5th June, I may finally have done so. But I want to check with more seasoned observers to make sure I'm not kidding myself.

What I saw was a faintly glowing white band centred about NNW, extending to an altitude of about 20°. The structure looked like high cirrus clouds and it was quite bright against the dark background sky, and silhouetted some low-lying cloud patches.

That direction doesn't suffer from sky glow, as there are no towns in that direction (mostly looking out to Liverpool Bay and the Irish Sea).

The most striking thing about the display was its apparent whiteness.

So what you think? Is that a tick?

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Thought I saw some last night popping out for some milk. Was around 2230. First I saw were last year while watching the comet…. Very obvious, so now I have an idea of what I am looking for.

Peter

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15 hours ago, PeterW said:

Thought I saw some last night popping out for some milk. Was around 2230. First I saw were last year while watching the comet…. Very obvious, so now I have an idea of what I am looking for.

Peter

You learn something every day. I had no idea Noctilucent Clouds needed milk 🤣

Seriously though the first I ever saw were also while looking at the comet June 2020, and last night also 10:30pm I saw the same.

Magnus

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I think I saw the same ones as @PeterWand @Captain Magentabut these did not need any milk, so I can’t be certain. What do we think?

When does a cloud you can see at night stop being just a cloud you can see at night, and become a noctilucent cloud?

7B654EBC-5E1C-4E78-9AB9-9AE044B91110.jpeg

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16 hours ago, PeterW said:

Thought I saw some last night popping out for some milk. Was around 2230. First I saw were last year while watching the comet…. Very obvious, so now I have an idea of what I am looking for.

Peter

You probably did. I saw them at the same time yesterday walking back from work in Canterbury. And I too was lucky to see some when I pictured the comet the past summer!

Neowise1-thumbnail.jpg.517ad33cdc5b873eff8fedae3043b294.jpg

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Yes those were exactly the ones I was looking at too. Wiki says they are evident with the sun between 6 and 16 degrees below the horizon … at the time I was looking the sun was about 10 degrees below. But I still have the same question as @Stu .

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5 hours ago, Felias said:

You probably did. I saw them at the same time yesterday walking back from work in Canterbury. And I too was lucky to see some when I pictured the comet the past summer!

Neowise1-thumbnail.jpg.517ad33cdc5b873eff8fedae3043b294.jpg

I remember a similar night to this, i had been doing an all nighter. The usual summer targets, plus Neowise, couldnt believe the display of noctilucent cloud as well. Wouls love to have captured a scene as beautiful as this. Worthy of hanging on the wall for definite, simply stunning!

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10 hours ago, Stu said:

When does a cloud you can see at night stop being just a cloud you can see at night, and become a noctilucent cloud?

Good question Stu!

This is my first and only noctilucent cloud display, 7/7/2014  0123 to 0212UT. Friend of mine WhatsApp'd me to get me to look outside thinking it was an aurora. I gave up looking for noctilucent clouds yonks before due to bad northern horizon and light pollution. Pics were taken with a Samsung Galaxy S mk1, handheld.

2014-07-07 02.23.43.jpg

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2014-07-07 03.12.17.jpg

2014-07-07 03.12.48.jpg

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11 hours ago, Captain Magenta said:

You learn something every day. I had no idea Noctilucent Clouds needed milk 🤣

Seriously though the first I ever saw were also while looking at the comet June 2020, and last night also 10:30pm I saw the same.

Magnus

Maybe he went to the Milky Way 

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10 hours ago, Pete Presland said:

I remember a similar night to this, i had been doing an all nighter. The usual summer targets, plus Neowise, couldnt believe the display of noctilucent cloud as well. Wouls love to have captured a scene as beautiful as this. Worthy of hanging on the wall for definite, simply stunning!

Thank you! I'm quite happy with that picture, considering that it was just a stack of 10 photos with my standard 18-55 mm lens and no mount. I bought my Star adventurer shortly after, and finally a telescope last November, so it kind of helped in getting me into AP. Not that I have done much since then, due to the weather...

I took a couple of pictures of the clouds that night, but never processed them. Maybe I should recover them now!

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I have processed the noctilucent clouds that I saw when I took the Neowise photos. I had forgotten about this picture (a simple stack of 15 frames, 13 seconds each), which I framed to include the Plough above them. Thank you for reminding me of this!

 

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Having looked at all the other pictures and descriptions here, I am convinced I did see noctilucent clouds. The fact that they glowed enough to silhouette stratus type clouds showed that they must have been pretty high up.

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