Noctilucent Wave Clouds

January 22, 2009


Photographer: Geir T. Øye
Summary Author: Geir T. Øye, Jim Foster

This photo showing a very nice display of noctilucent or night shining clouds was taken over Follestaddalen, Orsta, Norway, at about 2:00 a.m. on July 27, 2008. For several nights in succession, I noticed the night sky begin to fill with these mysterious, fast-moving clouds. Noctilucent clouds are likely composed of ice covered meteoritic dust, and generally form at heights of about 50 miles (80 km) above the Earth's surface. While they've been observed above central Europe and southern Canada, they're more frequently seen north of 60 degrees north or south latitude during the summer months.