Noctilucent, "night-shining" clouds, are so engaging,
bright, yet from darkest depths of polar regions,
constantly on the move,
their travels so far-ranging,
attracting the curiousity of researching
with signs that earth's atmosphere is changing,
cloud alterations that are so clear,
not understanding how, why, or what
causing consternation, worry, and fear on the earth,
as 50 miles above the earth's surface,
in the upper layer's
appear like soft cottonballs of water vapor,
moonlight or sunlight in different angles,
reflect and refract,
off ice crystals in the atmosphere,
displaying spectacular sightings of
above northern and southern hemisphere's poles,
the technicolor images of prismic rainbows,
so how much are these
figuring out why the "night-shining" clouds form,
the clouds relate to global climate variance,
as compared to a global
Image: Copyright 2007,
A new NASA satellite has recorded the first detailed images from
space of a mysterious type of cloud called night-shining or
The clouds are on the move, brightening and creeping out of
polar regions, and researchers don't know why.
"It is clear that these clouds are changing, a sign that a part
of our atmosphere is changing and we do not understand how, why or what it
means," said atmospheric scientist, James Russell III, of Hampton University in
Hampton, Virginia. "These observations suggest a connection with global change
in the lower atmosphere and could represent an early warning that our Earth
environment is being changed."
The Aeronomy-of-Ice-in-the-Mesosphere (AIM) satellite first
imaged the noctilucent clouds May 25. People on the ground began seeing them
June 6 over Northern Europe.
The clouds form 50 miles above the Earths surface, in an
upper layer of the atmosphere called the mesosphere. The puffs of water vapor
and crystals appear during summer months above the Northern Hemisphere's pole
as well the Southern Hemispheres pole in summer.
AIM will record two complete cloud seasons over both regions,
effectively documenting an entire life cycle of the shiny clouds for the first
time. Researchers hope to figure out why noctilucent clouds form and how they
might be related to global climate change.
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