NLC Photo gallery: Summer 2008
sky cameras for NLCs
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Summer 2009
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  Observing tips: Look west 30 to 60 minutes after sunset when the Sun has dipped 6o to 16o below the horizon. If you see luminous blue-white tendrils spreading across the sky, you've probably spotted a noctilucent cloud. Although noctilucent clouds appear most often at arctic latitudes, they have been sighted in recent years as far south as Colorado, Utah and possibly Virginia. NLCs are seasonal, appearing most often in late spring and summer. In the northern hemisphere, the best time to look would be between mid-May and the end of August. See also 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008
  Photographer, Location Images Comments

Victor von Salza,
Portland, Oregon, USA
Jul. 15, 2009
#1, more

8secs@f5.6 ISO200 Nikon D300 Nikor12-24mm@12mm(18mmEFL) from the Broadway Bridge looking NW towards the Fremont Bridge. Sunset was at 8:57pm, I did not look for them until about 9:50pm, they were at their best between 10:05 and 10:15pm, and it was all but over/invisible by 10:35pm on this night.

Richard Keen,
Coal Creek Canyon, Colorado, elevation 8950 feet, 2730 m.
Jul. 15, 2009
#1, #2, more

I saw NLC's from Colorado in 1999. After a decade, they're back! The clouds were visible in the NNW to a max elevation of 15 degrees, about the same as the clouds in 1999. Photos taken with Sony Cyber Shot, ISO 80, f/5.2, 20 second exposure. Lens set at full tele-zoom (3x), f.l. = 18 mm. Times of the photos are 9:28 and 9::32 pm MDT. I didn't have time to set up the fancier camera.

Jimmy Nordström,
Källby, Sweden
Jul. 14, 2009
#1, more

I was sitting in my room testing my camera equipment when I saw something bright at the sky through the window, noctilucent clouds. I packed my camera equipment and my flashlight. A couple of minutes later I stared taking images. Equipment: Canon EOS 40D, Sigma EX 10-20/4-5,6 HSM. 8 images taken then combined. Full res: 8600x3789.

Joseph Shaw,
Bozeman, Montana
Jul. 16, 2009
#1, #2

Gorgeous morning display of noctilucent clouds - much better than what we saw just a few hours before at sunset. Not many things are worth getting out of bed at 4:00 am for, but THIS was! Nikon D300, 28 mm lens at f/2 & f/2.8, ISO400, 1/4 s.

Bob Harrington,
Seattle, Washington, USA
Jul. 15, 2009
#1, #2, #3, #4, more

Noctilucent clouds seen from Seattle, WA on July 15, 2009. Only the third time I've seen NLCs in my 46 years here. I was able to eyeball these clouds all the way to the zenith at lat 47°37'N Very pretty!

Dale Ireland,
Silverdale WA, USA 123W 47N
Jul. 15, 2009
#1, more

The first time I have ever seen and photographed Noctilucent Clouds thanks to the alert. I was surprised that they were only visible for 10 or 15 minutes. Bright blue and easy to differentiate from the normal cirrus clouds below. The image is looking west towards the Olympic Mountains from Silverdale WA. Nikon D90 24mm lens f/4 3 sec ASA 800 Dale Ireland

Andrew P Chapman,
Looking NW from Bedfordshire, UK, 52° 6' N 0° 18' W
Jul. 12, 2009

This was the first time I had seen these clouds. Really quite dark but very obvious. It was as if I was standing underwater and looking up at the surface. Used a Sony DSC-85S on auto and it took an 8sec exp at F/5, 100ASA. Levels adjusted in PS. Taken at 22.47 BST, sunset 21.18 BST.

Vince Varnas,
Aloha, Oregon
Jul. 15, 2009

At about 10:05 P.M. PDT, I found this display of noctilucent clouds in the northwest from the Portland, Oregon metro area. The photograph was taken from the roof of my house. I climbed part way up my amateur radio tower and got on the roof. I set my tripod on the peak of the roof to get this shot. I used a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 17-40mm, f/4L lens at about 28mm, 800 ISO for 1.5 sec.

more images: from Mike Staats of Seattle, Washington; from Ewa Simonson of Perstorp, Scania, Sweden; from Bas Boselie of Brabant, Netherlands; from Steven Rosenow of Shelton, Washington;
from Mark Shaw of Hadfield, Derbyshire, UK; from Benjamin Monjay of Forest Grove, Oregon; from Steven Rosenow of Shelton, Washington; from David Tarsi near Everett Washington; from Albert Frank of Philomath, Oregon; from Andrew Robb of Hillsboro Oregon; from Nathan Way of Lynnwood, WA; from Greg Ainsworth of Bozeman, MT; from Jason Barnable of Sioux Falls, SD; from Tom Laskowski of South Bend, Indiana


Northern Lights Photo Gallery: A solar wind stream hit Earth on May 20th causing a mild geomagnetic storm and Northern Lights around the Arctic Circle. The auroras of May 21st were so bright, they were visible in the twilight blue sky above Nunavik, Quebec.

"The sky is blue at 1 o'clock in the morning when I took these pictures," says photographer Sylvain Serre. "At our latitude at this time of year, it is blue all night long--and it's never a dark blue. So, at 1 o'clock in the morning, the sky is bright and I can see only a few stars."

In spite of this extra glare, Serre was able to see the auroras. "I saw them with my unaided eyes. The clouds made it difficult, but the clouds were moving slowly while the northern lights were moving faster." This, plus the green color of the auroras, made it possible to sort things out.