Electric blue clouds return to arctic - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Electric blue clouds return to arctic

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Toledo, OH - Every year a rare and mysterious cloud shows up in the arctic sky on occasion. Around the same time sunshine crowds out the possibility of seeing the aurora (northern lights), and researchers flock to understand the noctilucent clouds that develop. These clouds are often colorless and on occasion they put out an electric blue color. Red and green colors have also been observed.

 For reasons not fully understood,  these clouds start showing up in late May and can occur off and on through July or even August. The noctilucent clouds are only visible from latitude 50° to 65° normally deep into twilight. They are unique because they are occurring high above all of the other clouds observed. The troposphere is where all of earth’s weather takes place which is the first 4 to 12 miles of the atmosphere. These electric blue clouds develop in the mesosphere which is the third layer of the atmosphere 31 to 53 miles above the earth’s surface. This is the same location in the atmosphere where meteors are visible and about 25 miles lower than aurora displays.

NASA says as of May 24th, the clouds have developed once again and high latitude sky watchers may see the rare sight in the twilight sky in the days, weeks and months to come. Teams of scientists are moving into polar areas to conduct more research on the mysterious clouds to understand them more.

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