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Category: Photos

Noctilucent Cloud Display over NE England June 2019

noctilucent clouds over durham city Noctilucent Clouds over Durham City, June 17th/18th 2019 by Mike Ridley Photography

Some of you eagle-eyed skywatchers will have noticed a ghostly glow in the sky on the way back from the pub in recent days. Was it real? Was it just an illusion caused by too much Gin? No, what you saw was real and is called ‘Noctilucence’. It is a spectacular display of very high clouds.

Noctilucence is exhibited by clouds that shine at night (Noctilucent means ‘night shining’ in Latin). Noctilucent Clouds exist in the upper atmosphere (Mesosphere), at a height of around 50 miles. They are composed of ice crystals and can only be seen in astronomical twilight. That means they are best seen in the summer months, but they are too faint to be seen in daylight. They require moisture, dust and very cold temperatures (less than -120 degC) to form. The Mesosphere is at it’s coldest in the summer months, so favours their formation.

The clouds shine on summer nights when the sun is below the horizon at ground level, whilst up at 50 miles the noctilucent clouds are still in the sunlight. The whispy clouds seem to glow in this ghostly manner. They are a comparatively recent discovery and are not fully understood, but they seem to be occurring more often and with increasing brightness.

There have been some fantastic photos posted on the internet in the last week or so, but the best I have seen relevant to us is from Mike Ridley who took this superb composite photo over Durham City from Whinney Hill on 17th/18th June 2019.

Here’s Mike’s link.

Mike Ridley Photography

noctilucent clouds by mike ridley photography Noctilucent Clouds over Durham City, June 17th/18th 2019 by Mike Ridley Photography

Snowfall from Dipton, near Consett 27th October 2018

Some snow fell on the highest parts of our region yesterday as snow showers peppered the Northern half of the country from the unstable Arctic flow. Dipton, nr Consett saw about 3” of snow. Dipton is about 800ft above sea level. Here’s a couple of photos from GeordieKev, posted to NetWeather Forums. The Consett area is one of the snowiest urban communities in Britain, according to Professor Gordon Manley. My own site in Gilesgate got nothing more than sleety rain.

GeordieKev’s Weather Station is at

http://www.wunderground.com/q/locid:UKXX5585

picture of Snowfall in Dipton, nr. Consett 27th Oct 2018
Snowfall in Dipton, nr. Consett 27th Oct 2018
picture of Snowfall in Dipton, nr. Consett 27th Oct 2018
Snowfall in Dipton, nr. Consett 27th Oct 2018

Autumn colours shining through, October 2018

picture of debs striding out into the countryside around durham
Debs strides out into the countryside
picture of durham cathedral with the foreground lit
Durham Cathedral with foreground sunshine
picture of threatening dark clouds over durham
The clouds look threatening, but really weren’t
picture of people in a canoe on the river wear
Getting landlubbers ready for a paddling session
picture of trees with autumn foliage beside the river wear in durham
Fantastic autumn colours from the riverbank
picture of a fisherman on the river wear under a tree that is reflected in the water
A fisherman on the River Wear
picture of the riverside path beside the river wear with lots of people walking
The riverside path was quite busy in places
picture of my favourite allotment door which is tilted in a hedge
My favourite allotment door in the whole World!
picture of the repaired bankside after the landslide in pelaw wood
The repaired bankside after the landslip in Pelaw Wood
picture of the old father time windvane on top of the bandstand in durham, with blue sky to the background
Old Father Time weathervane on top of the Bandstand
picture of the durham cow statue next to the river wear in durham
The Durham Cow rests in the sunshine
picture of rowers beneath the autumn foliage with baths bridge over the river wear
Rowing beneath the Autumn foliage and Baths Bridge
picture from pelaw wood showing a highly coloured tree in the valley
Deep in Pelaw Wood, view from the Bridge
Website created by D.K. O'Hara Copyright 2018.

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