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Summer 2011
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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 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, 2008, and 2009
  Photographer, Location Images Comments

Brian Whittaker,
33,000 feet over Denver, Colorado
Jul. 2, 2011
#1, #2, #3, more

On my way up north to hopefully see Noctilucent Clouds, I was amazed to see them just after sunset from 37 degrees north latitude over the USA! I managed to take a few snaps showing Denver below with Noctilucent Clouds to the north from 33,000 feet. Later, I got Venus rising with Noctilucent Clouds from eastern Canada.

Doug Zubenel,
De Soto, Kansas, USA.
Jul. 2, 2011
#1, #2, #3

After seeing the spectacularly brilliant NLC images on SW from the northern US last night, I stepped outside this evening and what I saw sent me running inside for the camera. These three images were made between 9:56 and 9:59 pm, CDT, with the sun 11.2 to 11.7 degrees below the NW horizon - directly below the brightest area of the NLC's. 10 second exposures with a 24mm lens @ f/2.8 at ISO 400.

Marek Nikodem,
Szubin, Poland
Jul. 10, 2011
#1, #2, #3, #4, more

NLC storm above Poland. Today morning most spectacular show I've ever observed of NLCs. It was very very great complex NLC.It’s the absolutely best NLC display of this season. The display was over 180 degrees wide, over 100 degrees high. There was unreliable and fantastic show. Nikon D 700/ Nikkor 24-70, exp 2-6 sec

Martin McKenna,
Dunluce Castle, Co. Antrim (North Coast), N. Ireland
Jul. 9, 2011
#1, #2, #3, #4, more

Hi Tony Absoutely stunning NLC display tonight which my girlfriend and I watched in amazement over the Atlantic Ocean with the shadow-casting type 5 brightness display above the infamous ruins of Dunluce Castle on the Co. Antrim coast of N. Ireland. The colours and structures were phenomenal with striking herringbone, bands, waves, whirls and skeletal type forms. We could see the electric blue colour refecting on the oceam itself. Best NLC display I have seen since 2009!! - what a night!! Canon 450D 18-55mm lens, ISO400, various settings

Alan Dyer,
near Gleichen, Alberta, Canada
Jul. 6, 2011
#1, more

Clouds aren’t usually the astronomer’s friend, but at this time of year they become the objects of our attention. For the past few nights, my Alberta prairie skies have been beautifully clear and filled with the clouds of solstice. Last night, July 6, began at twilight with the best display of noctilucent clouds so far this season — and we’re now at peak season for this northern sky phenomenon. This was the scene at about 11:30 pm local time, with the wispy high-altitude clouds at their most extensive and fully lit by sunlight. Over the next hour or so, as the Sun set further below the horizon, the display disappeared as darkness came to the high atmosphere and the Sun no longer illuminated these clouds suspended over the Arctic.

Mikael Johannesen,
Hvidovre, Denmark
Jul. 10, 2011
#1, more

Best NLC of the year so far. I was out at 3am and saw this wonderful show. It's a panoramic of 5 images put together by Photoshop Elements 9 panorama function. EOS 500D, EF-S 18-55mm @ 18mm F4.5, ISO 200, 2 second exposures.

Benjamin Lawlor,
Dublin, Ireland
Jul. 2, 2011
#1, more

I took these photos on Sunday morning (July 3rd @ 3.30am IST) from Dublin City Centre. I was on my way home at about 2.30am and saw these clouds to the north, I wasted no time grabbing my gear and heading down to the quays to try and get some photos with some familiar Dublin landmarks such as the new Convention Centre, Dublin and the Samuel Beckett Bridge. This is certainly the most impressive display of Noctilucent Clouds I've seen in the capital. I was also amazed to see such structure in the clouds. I could clearly see ripples forming and a ropey texture throughout the display. Considering the problem of light pollution in Dublin, this really surprised me. All the detail was visible with the naked eye and I even got some nice photos using nothing more than my camera phone.

more images: from Ivo Dinsbergs of Riga, Latvia; from Adrian Maricic of Lcoh Leven, Fife, Scotland; from Peter Sherman of Fochabers, Moray, Scotland ; from Nina Smrekar of Krim, Slovenia; from Vincent Phillips of Hale village near Liverpool UK; from Lars Melin of Sollentuna, Sweden


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.