Cloudy Sunday

NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS FROM SPACE: This week, sky watchers near the Arctic Circle have reported nightly displays of bright noctilucent clouds.  The silvery ripples of NLCs look amazing from the ground, but they look even better from space.  NASA’s AIM spacecraft took this picture of the entire Arctic surrounded by an electric-blue glow on July 24th:


Regular readers of have been waiting for this image since June. Normally, AIM  transmits pictures of NLCs every day, but the regular flow of data was interrupted months ago. The reason has to do with the spacecraft’s orbit. Since AIM was launched in 2007, its orbit has been precessing–that is, slowly rotating with respect to the planet below. Eventually, accumulated changes in AIM’s orbital elements required a new way of pointing the spacecraft’s instruments. Mission controllers have been working on that problem all summer long–and it has finally been solved.

“We are thrilled to be back in business,” says Prof. Cora Randall, a member of the AIM science team at the University of Colorado’s Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. “Our orbit will continue to evolve, but at this point we believe that we know how to control the pointing under the anticipated orbit parameters.”

NLCs are, essentially, clouds of frosted meteor smoke. They form when wisps of summertime water vapor rise toward the top of Earth’s atmosphere. Water molecules stick to the microscopic debris of disintegrated meteoroids, assembling themselves into tiny crystals of ice that glow beautifully in sunlight at the edge of space.

Thanks to the efforts of the AIM team, you can see these strange clouds not only from Earth, but also from Earth orbit. AIM images are published every day right here on


About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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11 Responses to Cloudy Sunday

  1. Den says:

    Frosted Meteor smoke, huh.


  2. Carol ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:

    Waiting for company. Dusted the LR and kitchen yesterday, shook rugs and swept floor, dust the LR. I have nice clothes on instead of my comfortable rags, and I’m ready.

    Bob doing ok, I relented and put him back on the Morphine. So, he’s kind of loopy but I think they’re right about it helping his breathing. He actually ate his breakfast. Can’t do that when he has too much trouble breathing.

    I didn’t get to mow yesterday. Pete offered, but I don’t trust anyone to do that but moi. I did get on the tractor this morning and mowed a patch in front, did the side and of the house by the garage and when they get here it will look very nice.

    It’s been a good morning for Bob, therefore for me. I’m not all frazzled, THANK goodness. We even got some decent sleep last night which I really needed. I feel like a million bucks, had my sleep and he’s doing fairly well. Oh! And his sister and her husband are bringing the food. YAY!!!


  3. Carol ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:

    Sure wish it would rain already. I needed to water a couple days ago and still haven’t. No time to do it today. Lots of cumulus clouds, but I don’t thing they are rain clouds, the cumulus.


  4. Den says:

    Fukin HOT! 97, no rain until November, stuff should start bursting into flame anytime, will be this way HOT! all week and the moron factor is pretty high here, like the idiot on the side of the road selling ‘camping’ firewood during a RED FLAG fire warning, yup morons-O-plenty.


  5. David B. Benson says:

    Again 24 minutes to the Old Post Office in the mid90s heat. The 5 pigeons are back on the Pufferbilly Depot roof.


    • David B. Benson says:

      The return required 26 minutes making the daily total precisely 50 minutes. No clouds so no impressive sunset.


  6. David B. Benson says:

    Peter Brannen writes an important opinion piece in today’s TNYT.


  7. Micki says:

    They are right about morphine helping Bob’s breathing. It also helps control anxiety.

    Although most people realize morphine is an excellent pain killer, it also is extremely helpful in controlling shortness of breath due to Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) or to Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD) or Emphysema. It relaxes the muscles in the bronchial/breathing tubes, making the work of breathing easier; and, it helps to control the anxiety associated with a “suffocating” feeling which may occur.

    Morphine, because it’s an opioid, gets a bad rap. I believe it’s use for end-of-life patients — our loved ones — is humane and offers them human dignity.


  8. Den says:

    Thank God it’s Sunday:


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