Fathers’ Space Sunday

RECORD-SETTING NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS: If you’ve never seen a cloud of frosted meteor smoke, now is the time to look. 2019 is shaping up to be the best year for noctilucent clouds (NLCs) … maybe ever. Normally confined to near-Arctic latitudes, NLCs have been seen this month in most US states. On Friday morning, June 14th, Don Davis saw them, astonishingly, from the city of Joshua Tree not far from Los Angeles CA:

Noctilucent clouds over Joshua Tree CA on June 14, 2019

“They were dim but distinct,” says Davis. “I photographed them easily using a 4 second exposure at ISO 400.”

Davis’s sighting at +34.1 degrees sets the record for low-latitude observations of NLCs, breaking the previous record set only five days earlier by Brian Guyer at the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, New Mexico (+35.1 degrees).

“I’m shocked to report that I saw the noctilucent clouds while venturing outdoors for a weather observation shortly after sunset,” says Guyer, who is a senior meteorologist. “When I noticed the faint blue wavy tendrils far off to the north, I asked myself, ‘am I really seeing noctilucent clouds from here?’ I’m happy to see that other folks are also seeing these beautiful spectacles of nature at lower latitudes.”

Noctilucent clouds form every year when wisps of summertime water vapor rise to the top of Earth’s atmosphere and crystallize around specks of meteor smoke. The season typically starts in late May, peaks in July, and peters out in August. If NLCs are being seen in California and New Mexico in June, the season’s peak in early July could be very special indeed.

Noctilucent clouds have been creeping south for years–a possible result of climate change and/or the solar cycle. 2019 has broken all the old records for southern sightings, bringing the clouds into the mainstream of mid- to low-latitude sky watching. Now everyone should be alert for NLCs.

Observing tips: Look west 30 to 60 minutes after sunset (or before sunrise) when the sun is just below the horizon. If you see luminous blue-white tendrils spreading across the sky, you may have spotted a noctilucent cloud.




About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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15 Responses to Fathers’ Space Sunday

  1. Den says:

    Yea, I’m late today, taking my fatherly time getting going, lazy day here.


  2. David B. Benson says:

    Where is TrumpLandia? Trumpistan?


  3. David B. Benson says:

    Pigeons on the pigeon station; a tidings of magpies in a nearby tree.

    Just 28 minutes to the Old Post Office this warm and sunny day.


  4. Carol says:

    Happy Father’s Day to the two father’s on Dancing With Fools. Hope you heard from your kids.


  5. Carol says:

    Another overcast, cool day here, all windows shut. And drizzle, of course. Everything is always wet, you’d think Michigan was England.

    My friend Diane is in a coma today. She was fine yesterday when we visited her. She could still bounce back, or….not. I don’t want to lose her yet, and she doesn’t want to be lost. 😦


  6. Carol says:

    Thanks for the compliment on my story yesterday, Micki. I was too depressed about my friend to take my evening constitutional, but I did step outside for about 5 minutes and I heard the Catbird mewing way off somewhere. Of course, it could be a different Catbird, lol.


  7. Micki says:

    Better late than not…

    HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO EVERYONE AT DWF! (We all had one!) . But a special shout out to the fathers here!!


  8. Den says:

    Party lizards like ice cream.


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