Investigating rare blue clouds over the Arctic Today’s Video of the Day from NASA describes a mission to gain a better understanding of polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs).
The rare, electric blue clouds form in the mesosphere 50 miles above Earth’s poles during the summer season just after sunset.
In July 2018, NASA sent a balloon to observe the clouds high above the Arctic. Ice-blue clouds are drifting high above the Arctic, which means the Northern Hemisphere’s noctilucent cloud season is here. NASA’s Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere spacecraft . Investigating rare blue clouds over the Arctic as shown above in the video shows Noctilucent clouds form when water molecules congregate around the fine dust and freeze, forming ice crystals. The icy clouds, reflecting sunlight, shine bright blue and white.
The balloon captured millions of high-resolution photos which may help experts better understand turbulence as well as other weather processes. These animated images show AIM’s observations from the first week of the Arctic noctilucent cloud season, which began on May 17, 2020. The colors from dark blue to light blue and bright white — indicate the clouds’ albedo, which refers to the amount of light that a surface reflects compared to the total sunlight that falls upon it. 1 Polar Stratospheric Clouds. Polar stratospheric clouds. 2 Jacques Cousteau Clouds. Nicknamed the Jacques Cousteau clouds, 3 Noctilucent Clouds. Polar mesospheric clouds
Image Credit: NASA