The Noctilucent Clouds are Back

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The Noctilucent Clouds are Back

Postby Aratus » Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:47 pm

In summer I always take a brief look north, just in case the noctilucent clouds appear. Most times I'm disappointed. However tonight (24th June) there was brief, rather dim display, but it is always worth a mention. They started to appear at about 10:10pm local time, and got to their brightest at 10:30pm, after which they faded away. As you can see, on this occasion, they are rather confused, and lack any interesting structure, but this is still early in the season, and better ones may appear later in the next few months.

These 50 mile high clouds are thought to be ice crystals forming around meteor dust. They only appear in summer when the sun is around 10 - 15 degrees below the horizon. The bright star is Capella, and from the UK it is a good guide to knowing you are looking in the right place.
I use an 11" reflector (Celestron CPC 1100) and a 3" refractor, (Sky-Watcher ST80) mounted on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI 120MM, ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 1300D for imaging.
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