Rocketary Sunday

NOCTILUCENT CLOUD SIGHTINGS: Around the north pole, noctilucent cloud (NLC) season is underway. NASA’s AIM spacecraft spotted the first NLCs from polar orbit on May 17th. Last night, people on the ground saw them, too. Kairo Kiitsak sends this picture from Simuna, Estonia:

“This is something new for me,” says Kiitsak. “I’ve seen NLCs before, but never so early in the season.” The clouds were also sighted in Helsinki, Finland and Jelgava, Latvia.

NLCs are Earth’s highest clouds. Seeded by meteoroids, they float at the edge of space more than 80 km above the ground. The clouds form when summertime wisps of water vapor rise up to the mesosphere, allowing water to crystallize around specks of meteor smoke.

The 2020 NLC season is beginning ahead of schedule. AIM’s detection of clouds over the north pole on May 17th marks the 2nd-earliest start to a season since the spacecraft was launched 14 years ago. Ground-based observers often don’t see their first clouds until early June.

Northern sky watchers should be alert for more NLCs in the evenings ahead. The clouds can appear after sunset when the sun is more than 6o below the horizon: diagram. They glow electric-blue against the darkening twilight sky and are often filled with finely-structured ripples sculpted by rarefied winds at the edge of space.

Update–Is a rocket to blame? reader Ruslan Merzlyakov points out that “last night’s bright noctilucent clouds might be due to a technological cause. A Soyuz rocket was launched from Plesetsk Cosmodrome [on May 22nd at 10:31 Moscow Time].” Icy rocket exhaust can catch rays of high-altitude sunlight much like natural noctilucent clouds do, creating similar displays. Stay tuned for updates about this possibility.

About Den

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

  1. Den says:

    I have noticed a missing component in a lot of people today,

    a severe lack of self-discipline, child-like mentalities, stirring up stuff.

    Luckily there are those that sacrifice their lives for a cause unselfishly,

    Without them we would be lost.


  2. David B Benson says:

    Sunny. New neighbor to the north has a motor scooter. There was an unending stream of cars at the Starbucks drive thru, even including a young man on the tinyest of motorcycles. The Red Bento appears to be closed. The Jack In the Box is now closed midnight to 6 am, only open for take away.

    The insectivors down at Missouri Flat Creek are busy catching flying insects. I don’t see the insects but the birds do.


  3. David B Benson says:

    Why did you replace your water main, Den?


  4. David B Benson says:

    When I sit up I want to lie down; when I lie down I want to sit up.



    • Carol says:

      How irritating. I’ve been kind of like that the last half hour. I actually went and laid down on the bed for a bit, now I’m back in here.

      I weeded most of the east side of the house, easier with my Prednisone booster power pills in me, but still a chore. I sat to rest a few times, but it wasn’t that much. I worked on the west side, and the back near the bird feeders the other day, pretty soon I’ll get it all done and joined together and have the entire perimeter of the house cleaned up.

      Now I feel like laying down again, but I’m not going to.


  5. ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶arol says:

    The old guy, who I think is only a year older than me, rode down here on his Rascal from the duplex the other side of the field on the west side of my house. I was on the tractor, chopping up the weeds I tossed on the lawn, and then I mowed the backyard for this evening’s walk. I went into the house, but then I saw him parked at the end of my drive, looking up here. I quickly hit the john, cleaned up after the weeding, grabbed my water bottle and went back out to my tractor. He started to wave from the end of the drive, I waved back and drove down there.

    I asked how he was, not so good, upset with his neighbor. I thought he was going to say it was his health. He suffers from something called post polio something. He had polio when he was a kid, he lived and it went away, only to come back with different traits in his old age.

    Not his health, he had asked his neighbor down there that has a tractor for mowing his side of the duplext if he would mow something for him at his duplex. It’s a ranch-shaped house with two units, the neighbor wouldn’t help him. I talked about how selfish Americans were these days, blah, blah, blah, then asked him if he wanted me to drive down there and mow whatever for him, SURE! Hindsight being 20/20, that was his plan when he drove down to see me. He just didn’t know how to ask for my help, he told the story and that prompted ME to offer.

    So, we drove down the road together, him in the lead. That Rascal is peppy. I didn’t try to race him because I could tell my tractor wouldn’t be able to catch him, lol.

    We rode into the backyard and he pointed at a huge area where last spring he had put many, MANY bales of hay. It was to help him with his veggie gardening and now he needed to get rid of them, had been tempted to set them on fire, get smoke on the neighbor’s clothes hanging outside, lol.

    “You want me to take THAT down,” I said! I asked if there was anything in it, like string, or wire holding the rectangular bales together. He said they had taken all that out. OK, so I went for it, keeping my blade up high on #3. Of course, I spotted blue plastic cords a few times, jumped off the tractor and pulled them out. I spotted plastic cups pushed into one of the bales and I took them out and put them in his trash can. Near the end he had his wife come out, who looked like she was maybe 40, I mean what the hell? When she talks, she talks slowly, like she has a problem. Kind of slow? She finally got a pitchfork and started prying the rest of the bales apart and the rest of my work went really fast with that help. Prior to her doing that I pealed off the bales a little at a time. A few times I got stuck and had to pull the pin in back so I could drag the tractor backwards. The wife stood there watching me and her “husband” told her to not just stand there, help me, lol.

    I also noticed I was out of gas, so low I didn’t think I dare drive home for gas but he had some and he filled my tank over my objections. I told him to just put a little in it, but he insisted.

    He thanked me when I was done, promised me a nice dinner some day but I told him he didn’t owe me a thing, I loved doing that. It was satisfying, ironing out that mess. My baby did such a good job it was perfectly flat, I left no lumps, he has to be happy as heck to have that done. We all know how it is to need something done and we can’t do it and it’s annoying that we can’t get that thing done. Kind of like me right now with my stupid washer.

    MY WASHER! EGADS! I forgot to go down there this morning, had to leave the sheets in the dryer last night and the rest of the stuff that goes in there I had to leave in the laundry basket. It got late and I was done with running down there to respin the machine, over and over. When I put the sheets in the dryer, they weren’t as spun out as they should have been. I wonder if they even got dry last night. I’ll find out in a bit when I go down there.

    Helping Norm with his hale bales was my good deed for the day.


  6. jimhitchcock says:

    James Carville on Joe Biden:

    “If he picks Sarah Palin I will say it’s the greatest choice in the history of Vice Presidential picks”


  7. Den says:

    Sudden urge to sleep,ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ


  8. David B Benson says:

    Worldometer: Washington state new cases @ 200. US total new cases about 21k again.


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