Noctilucent Clouds

July 15th, 2006: My first sightning of noctilucent clouds!

Having only recently been reading about the relatively rare noctilucent clouds, I was keen to get my first sighting, checking the skies every evening long after sunset. This was my lucky night. I first spotted the unmistakable clouds from home at around 2245 BST, to the north, seen here, even above the streetlight glare:

First Sighting

I quickly gathered my things and headed into the countryside, about 5 miles north. The sky had become darker, making the clouds stand out even more. The dark brown wisps at the bottom of the picture is smoke from heath fires over northeast Hampshire earlier that day:

Forest scene

Some more detail on the clouds with fine wisps and veils. Venus can just be seen within the thicker veil:


The display peaked around 2330 BST, before fading from view around midnight. A very rewarding evening's viewing and a new cloud to seek with the camera in future summers: