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Noctilucent in the News

8 July 2014

At http://spaceweather.com of July 4th 2014 (you will have to scroll down) we have a nice image of noctilucent clouds and a short explanation. They have been particularly common across Europe in recent days, beginning on July 3rd. The northern horizon was filled with electric blue ripples, coils, and tentrils of light. These clouds are said to be caused by meteor smoke, forming at the edge of space 83km above the surface of the Earth, where sun light strikes the small icy crystals left behind by nature. Noctilucent clouds are common in summer and involves water molecules from evaporation of the oceans reaching high enough to mix with 'meteor smoke' – but the latter is not defined. It is also when the upper atmosphere is at its coldest temperature, according to Space Weather, allowing the water molecules to become ice crystals. Mainly, these clouds are confined to the Arctic Circle and as such, resemble aurora – spilling over with intense solar wind activity. So, is there a connection with sun spots that shoot out streams of plasma (the solar wind) sometimes in the direction of the Earth.

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