Atmospheric optics

polar stratospheric clouds sweden december featured

Polar Stratospheric Clouds form over Sweden

Polar stratospheric clouds, reported on December 9, 2016, over the skies of Kiruna, Sweden, indicate the stratosphere above the Arctic Circle is getting very cold. Polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) form from the icy particles in the lower stratosphere, in extremely...

December 15, 2016

light pillars denmark adrien mauduit november 8 2016

Light pillars and Moon halo over Denmark

Light pillars and halos are formed when the freezing cold atmospheric air is filled with tiny ice particles in suspension. When the wind is low and the sky is clear, you might observe strange beams coming from different sources of light. Ice particles reflect and...

November 09, 2016

nlc_alberta_canada_21jun2016_Derek_Mellott_f

Noctilucent clouds in motion

On the night of June 21, 2016, photographer Derek Mellott from the town of Gibbons, Alberta, Canada recorded this fantastic display of noctilucent clouds (NLCs). "They were the brightest I have ever seen," he said. "It seemed like a good time to...

June 22, 2016

ELVE_transient_luminuos_event_ _thomas_ashcraft_ _8jun2016_southeast_colorado_f

ELVE captured above a thunderstorm in Colorado, US

On June 8, 2016, amateur astronomer Thomas Ashcraft captured an enormous ring of light high above a thunderstorm in southeast Colorado. "It only lasted about a millisecond, but it was definitely there. The ring was about 300 km (186 miles) wide," Ashcraft...

June 13, 2016

possible_pop through_gigantic_jet_W_Oklahoma_23may2016_by_thomas_ashcraft_heliotown_f

Rare form of transient luminous event over Oklahoma, US

An enormous swarm of sprites was observed across the top of a thunderstorm during a severe weather outbreak in Oklahoma, US on May 23, 2016. The phenomenon was recorded by amateur astronomer Thomas Ashcraft, almost 640 km (400 miles) away, SpaceWeather.com reports,...

May 27, 2016

light_pillars_captured_by_andy_burns_12mar2016_darkskywales_f

"Light pillars' observed over south Wales, UK

A very rare atmospheric optical phenomenon called 'light pillars' was observed in the night sky above south Wales about 21:50 UTC on Friday, March 11, 2016, the same day a CME impact sparked surprising G2 - Moderate geomagnetic storm with auroras seen as far...

March 14, 2016

pcs_feat

Ozone hole behind colorful nacreous clouds over the UK and Ireland

Polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) are appearing over the United Kingdom and Ireland since January 31, 2016. An extremely rare occurrence for this area, usually restricted to the Arctic Circle, has been photographed by numerous skywatchers. According to experts, the...

February 05, 2016

polar_stratospheric_clouds_pcs_over_norway_by_truls_tiller_16dec2015_f

Nacreous clouds appear around the Arctic Circle

Sky watchers are observing an outbreak of polar stratospheric clouds or PSCs around the Arctic Circle, SpaceWeather reports. Unlike normal grey-white clouds, which hug Earth's surface at altitudes of only 5 to 10 km (3.1 - 6.2 miles), PSCs float through the...

December 17, 2015

gigantic_jet

A rare space weather phenomena caught on camera: Gigantic jets outbursts on top of the Hurricane "Hilda"

A strong outburst of lightning from Hurricane "Hilda", in the Pacific Ocean, was reported by the National Weather Service on August 10, 2015. At first, the scientist thought the lightning was the so-called sprites phenomena, however, closer observation...

August 16, 2015

sun_halo_sweden_july272015_by_goran_strand_via_earthsky_f

Solar halo optical phenomena observed in Sweden

The halos are caused by light refraction and reflection of millions of tiny ice crystals in high cirrus clouds. These high, thin clouds appear about 6 km (20 000 feet) or more above the ground, and are usually accompanied by a storm shortly after..Ice crystals in cirrus

July 30, 2015

martin_popek_may132015_czech_republic_f

Sprite season begins in northern hemisphere

Sprite season - spectacular, eerie flashes of colored lights that appear high above the tops of powerful thunderstorms - is underway, SpaceWeather reports. Because sprites are associated with thunderstorms, they tend to occur in late spring and summer. "Sprites...

May 16, 2015

ivar_marthinusen_dec_22_2014_skedsmokorset_norway_sw_f

Possible outbreak of polar stratospheric clouds underway around the Arctic Circle

A possible outbreak of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) is underway around the Arctic Circle, SpaceWeather.com reports.Ivar Marthinusen sends this picture of the phenomenon taken on December 22, 2014 from Skedsmokorset, Norway:"Right after sunset, these clouds wer

December 23, 2014

agu_arthur_few_explains_green_lightning

Arthur Few explains lightning activity at Chaiten volcano, Chile

In May 2008 the Chilean volcano Chaiten erupted spectacularly and exhibited remarkable lightning activity. Photographer Carlos Gutierrez captured a few images showing unusual kelly-green lightning channels. In this briefing, lightning researcher Arthur Few explains the

December 12, 2013

7098674067_b72fc600c3_b

Natural gas condensate leaking in Gulf of Mexico as operators lose control over the well

According to the report by US Coast Guard operators of natural gas and crude oil production platform in Gulf of Mexico, USA, lost control over one of the wells on July 9, 2013. Rainbow sheen is visible on the water surface and is estimated to be more than 6.5

July 10, 2013

br11

Unusual cloud pattern over Brisbane

An unusual cloud pattern formed over Brisbane and southeast Queensland on August 9, 2012. According to Weatherzone meteorologist Josh Fisher, this pattern represents a signal that the weather is about to turn cold, a harbinger of cooler weather. It’s a high

August 09, 2012

ISS031 E 10712 1

Red sprite captured from the International Space Station

“Red sprites” are short-lived, red flashes that occur about 80 kilometers (50 miles) up in the atmosphere. These electrical discharges can extend 20 to 30 kilometers up into the atmosphere and are connected to thunderstorms and lightning. Red sprites are difficult

July 11, 2012

800px Helkivad_ööpilved_Kuresoo_kohal

Start of Noctilucent Clouds season

Noctilucent clouds (NLCs) turn on every year in late spring, reaching almost full intensity over a period of no more than 5 to 10 days. These electric-blue ice clouds hang 85 km (53 miles ) above Earth's surface, at the edge of space itself, circling the north and

June 25, 2012