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Ursa Astronomical Association
Kopernikuksentie 1
00130 Helsinki

Ursa Astronomical Association

Bright night shining clouds - 25.7.2018 at 23.38 - 26.7.2018 at 02.05 Helsinki, Viikinranta Observation number 80138

Visibility IV / V

Veikko Mäkelä, Ursa (Helsinki)

A spectacular, albeit sometimes cloudy, night cloud play.

The first observation as early as 23.38, when the Sun is already at -7 degrees. The long sharp belts were already clearly visible from the northeast to the north. Snapshot on cell phone.

By midnight, the play was already clearly distinguished. The play was at its widest. Night clouds extended quite sharply from the northeast over the zenith (110 °) to the southwest. Around the zenith, of course, the night clouds were dim.

Until about 1 o'clock, the play was dominated by fairly bright sharp IIb belts, as well as a few vortex shapes in the low northeast.

At about 1 in the night cloud area pushed clouds that were ruining the play for follow-up. Namely, waves were also revealed between the clouds. At this point, the upper limit of the night clouds was only 40 degrees, the focus had shifted from the eastern early night.

Fortunately, by 2 o'clock the sky had clarified again. The play had changed from a belt-vortex type to a more complex one, where, in addition to belts and vortices, there were many cross-stripe-type wave groupings. The brightness approached the eye-catching but remained on the bright side (k = 4). The highest night clouds remain at 40 degrees, the area from northwest to east.

The color of the night clouds was white or bluish, with a low yellowish or even orange hue. Especially at a later stage.

at 11.40 p.m.
azimuths: 320-20
height: 5-20
forms: IIab
brightness: 1
colors: Va

at 0.10
azimuths: 230-40
height: 5-110
forms: I, IIab, III ?, IVc
brightness: 1-4
colors: VaS

at 1.15 p.m.
azimuths: 300-70
height: 2-40
forms: I, IIab, IIIb, IVc
brightness: 1-3
colors: SKO

at 2 p.m.
azimuths: 300-80
height: 2-40
forms: I, IIab, IIIb, IVc, P
brightness: 1-4
colors: SVaKO

More similar observations
Additional information
  • Havainto
    • Night shining clouds
  • Cloud coverage in the sky
    • Covered about half of the sky
  • Noctilucent clouds
    • Swirl info

      Swirls are curved night shining cloud forms. For example, a single night cloud belt or group of waves may be curved on a clear bend.

      The arrow indicates a slight vortex in the night cloud belt. Photo by Joni Tahkoniemi.

      Strong swirls in image taken by Veikko Mäkelä.

    • Waves info

      Waves of noctilucent clouds are short, close groups of clouds.

      Wavy NLC by Jari Luomanen.


      NLC waves by Hannu Määttänen.

    • Band info

      Bands of noctilucent clouds are long, stripe like cloudformation.

      A single, very bright NLC band. Photo by Mikko Peussa.


      On the upper left corner, rising bands are clear on the image. Whereas waves of NLC cover the bottom right side of the image. Photo by Juha Tonttila.

    • Veil info

      The night cloud vail is a vague thin night shining cloud with no clear structure.

      Noctilucent cloud veil with one strong belt formation. Image by Veikko Mäkelä.

  • Brightness of the noctilucent clouds
    • Bright night shining clouds
Technical information

Picture at 2.05
Nikon D7000; Nikkor AF-S 18-70 @ 44 mm; f / 9; 2 s; ISO 400
partial blurred mask

Photo at 11:38 p.m.
Samsung Galaxy S5 (SM-G900F); 4.8 mm; f / 2.2; 1/17 s; ISO 800
partial blurred mask

Images at 0.08, 0.19, 1.08, 1.10, 1.15, and 2.03
Nikon D7000; Nikkor AF-S 18-70 @ 18 mm [3-5], 70 mm [6], 29 mm [7] and 25 mm [8]; f / 13 [3-4], f / 9 [5-8]; 2 s; ISO 400
partial blurred mask

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