Noctilucent Clouds

  • Michael Gadsden
  • Wilfried Schröder
Part of the Physics and Chemistry in Space Planetology book series (SPACE, volume 18)


Noctilucent clouds are immediately recognizable, even when being seen for the first time. The name suggests it all: they are night-shining clouds. From mid-latitudes(ø > 50°), they can be seen during the summer in the twilight arch which moves around the north (or south, in the southern hemisphere) horizon as the night progresses. In form much like cirrostratus clouds, they are usually silvery-white or pale blue in colour and they stand out clearly behind the darker twilight sky. Ordinary (i.e. tropospheric) clouds are dark silhouettes under these conditions; noctilucent clouds shine. The reason for this is that noctilucent clouds are very high in the atmosphere and remain in sunlight long after the Sun has set at ground level.


Cloud Particle Cloud Type Solar Ultraviolet Radiation Noctilucent Cloud Topmost Part 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Gadsden
    • 1
  • Wilfried Schröder
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Natural PhilosophyUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenScotland
  2. 2.Bremen-RönnebeckGermany

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