Noctilucent Clouds

At last! Noctilucent Clouds

It’s taken me years to see, let alone photograph, noctilucent clouds.

Luna the Lab decided two trips into the garden weren’t enough last night, despite being let out at 11:50 and 1:15. I wasn’t annoyed though as the first two let me test my SQM which gave readings of 19.22 and 19.40 which suggests it’s in the right ball park.

But a couple of hours later she woke me up again, she’s obviously being fed too much.

I took thr meter out and the sky was already starting to lighten and read 18.8sih, but I noticed a few tufts of promising cloud right in the north between the trees.

I got Luna back in, dressed enough not to be arrested and legged it up to the Waterpark.

Thanks to the miracle of image stabilisation, some of my images came out OK co0nsidering they were >1s exposures!

I’m sure these are the ‘real deal’ because the stars were still out and it was just after 3:00am, the clouds were due north across about 45 degrees of the sky.

Noctilucent Clouds at Branston Water Park
Noctilucent Clouds at Branston Water Park
Noctilucent Clouds at LCS Container Park!
Noctilucent Clouds at LCS Container Park!

Noctilicent clouds seen on way near Whittington near Lichfield, Staffordshire, UK, 27/6/19 @ 23:21

On my way home from work in Tamworth last night, I saw these noctilicent clouds looking towards Lichfield. I only had my Sony Xperia ™ L1 phone with which to take photos so quality is poor but this is first time I have seen them this year!

Images below unprocessed except the first image which has been processed slightly using Photo Editor Pro on Xperia L1 and the other brighter one where attempt at processing slightly using the Sony Xperia L1’s inbuilt photo editor.

Andy

Photo taken on Sony Xperia L1 phone, processed in GIMP2:

Photo taken on Sony Xperia L1 phone, processed slightly using Photo Editor Pro on Xperia L1:

Photo taken on Sony Xperia L1 phone, unprocessed images:

Photo taken on Sony Xperia L1 phone, processed slightly using the Sony Xperia L1’s inbuilt photo editor:

Photo taken on Sony Xperia L1 phone, unprocessed images:

Fading Noctilucent Clouds

Popped out for a quick session on Friday night and there was a lovely Noctilucent Cloud formation to the North, so I popped my camera on a tripod and recorded it.

The video above was using a Canon SL1 at 22mm f4 taking 265 shots between 23:49 and 00:30. I used Pixinsight for a curves tweak and some unsharp masking and then Videopad to string it all together and add a bit of music.

The red light in the foreground for part of it is me setting up the dob. It doesn’t really add to the ambience- but it led a pretty good session despite needing to do a bit of cloud dodging. Finally got the Binoviewers dialled in for some good views of the Double Double, Izar, Albireo, M29 and M57. Really surprised that at similar magnification they outperformed my 7mm Celestorn X-Cel Eyepiece- the split on Izar was really clear, and the companion was a vivid blue, wheras the Celestron had them fuzzier and less colourful. Even Saturn came out to play- and despite hugging the horizon, the seeing gave me glimpses of the Cassini division plus Titan, Rhea, Dione and Enceladus. Best of all was M13- it resolved close to the core, but with tails everywhere- it looked like a ball of wool after a kitten’s been at it!

Noctilucent clouds from 2011

Roy Wood was a member of our group who used to love taking pictures of astronomical and weather phenomena with his hand held camera. His fantastic pictures used to put most of us, including me, to shame.

Damian and I recently published photos of noctilucent clouds over alichfiekd this year (2018).

Here are Roy’s photos of similar clouds from 2012 from our club’s archives.

http://www.thornett.net/Rosliston_Archive_2009-11/html/nocilucant_clouds_2-7-11.html

Andy

Noctilucent clouds galore!

Ean Ean and I viewed an amazing display of noctilucent clouds which was seen best out of our bedroom window (I feel like Roger although I did have window open) in the centre of Lichfield today at 3:30am. The pictures below were taken with either my Samsung S7 phone or Sony A350 DSLR. It was morning twilight and getting quite bright sky in the west just before sunrise with Belt of Venus visible.the clouds extended from approx. 15-60 degrees altitude – over massive area from almost direct north to nearly direct west.

I need to thank Damian who called Ean Ean and myself to make us aware of this incredible display and allowed us to see our first good noctilucent clouds.

Incredibly exciting!

Andy