• Blog Stats

    • 770,820 hits

2013 NLC Season Begins in a Blaze of Glory..!

nlc may 31 2013 pan-1s

Well, I wasn’t expecting that! Every year amateur astronomers – not all of us, have to be honest – turn into insomniacs and start to live the lives of vampires, as we stay up until oh my god o’clock hoping to catch a display of NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS. If you look up at the top of this page you’ll see a tab with “NLC” on it. Click that to be taken to  a complete guide to NLC. Basically, they are very, very high altitude clouds that catch the sunlight long after we’re in darkness down here on the ground.When all the other “normal” clouds we see in the sky have gone dark, NLC appear, shining a beautiful blue white. They look like a strange kind of sci fi special effect, a force field or energy field or something like that. Something painted or sprayed on the sky.  They only appear during summer,from very late May to the end of July, and then not every night, and most displays are quite modest affairs. Occasionally a display really goes nuts, and then the northern sky blazes with beautiful silvery and electric blue cloud. This usually happens late in the “season” tho. And until the middle of June we have to make do with quiet displays of a few lines and billows…

But on Thursday night the northern sky went crazy with NLC, and up at Kendal Castle I saw, and photographed, one of the best NLC displays for years… :-) Here are some of the pictures I took…

nlc enh 4

Look at that…! That’s just nuts! We don’t usually see anything like that until the middle of June!

nlc enh 3

nlc enh 7

NLC May 31 2013a

nlc enhanced 2

nlc enh 5

Now, I’ve really enhanced and messed about with that last image to bring out the detail in the background sky. That level of detail wasn’t visible to the naked eye, but it was hinted at through binocs, and boosting the contrast of and sharpening that image has really brought out how the northern sky was saturated with NLC. What a night!

I watched that display from between 11.45 pm and about 01.30 the next morning, and I’m very pleased with those pictures. Tried again last night – lovely clear sky in the north – but nothing, absolutely nothing. Oh well, maybe tonight? The forecst is good…

Finally, the panorama you saw at the top of this post, but enhanced and sharpened and tweaked until it sobbed and begged for mercy, just to show the true extent of Thursday night’s display…

nlc may 31 2013 pan-1sharp enh

About these ads

3 Responses

  1. […] hier, hier, hier, hier, hier, hier, hier, hier, hier (mehr, mehr und geschärft [NACHTRAG: und ein Artikel dazu), hier, hier, hier, hier, hier, hier, hier und hier. Auch astronomische Highlights des Monats […]

  2. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your post seem to be running off the screen in Safari.
    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let
    you know. The design look great though! Hope you get the
    problem fixed soon. Cheers

  3. whoah this blog is fantastic i like reading your posts. Stay up the great paintings! You recognize, a lot of individuals are hunting round for this info, you can help them greatly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 88 other followers

%d bloggers like this: