Atmospheric optics

new feature discovered in the night sky steve

New phenomenon discovered in the night sky

A new phenomenon seen as a giant purple streak of light in the night sky has been recently discovered and, for lack of a better word, named Steve. Steve was discovered thanks to scientists, citizen scientists, ground-based imagers and ESA's magnetic field Swarm...

April 21, 2017

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Elusive ELVES captured over the Czech Republic

A very elusive transient luminous event called ELVES appeared on April 2, 2017, high above a thunderstorm in the Chech Republic and was captured by one very lucky amateur astronomer. Martin Popek photographed the 300 km (186 miles) wide red ring of light hovering...

April 06, 2017

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Gigantic jets over Pilbara, Australia on March 28, 2017

Photographer Jeff Miles from Australia has captured several amazing images of very elusive gigantic jets, otherwise known as ionospheric lightning. Miles witnessed 6 jets on the night of March 28 near a small town in the Pilbara part of Western Australia and you can...

March 31, 2017

gigantic blue jet brazil march 2017

Very rare, gigantic blue jet over Paraíba, Brazil

Diego Rhamon managed to capture a gigantic jet (giant blue jet) taking place in Campina Grande, Paraíba, Brazil on March 13, 2017. It is the first recording of this elusive weather phenomenon in Brazil. According to Rhamon, the cumulonimbus cloud that...

March 16, 2017

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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

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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

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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

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ELVES 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

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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

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"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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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