Panoramic view of Noctulucent Clouds from Kendal Castle in the UK. Credit: Stu Atkinson
Panoramic view of Noctulucent Clouds from Kendal Castle in the UK. Credit: Stu Atkinson

Astrophotos, Observing

Stunning Noctilucent Clouds Shine Brightly in the UK

1 Jul , 2011 by


Mysterious “night shining” or Noctilucent Clouds are beautiful to behold, and here are some gorgeous examples what skywatchers in the UK have been experiencing. Stu Atkinson took this stunning panoramic view from Kendal Castle. (Click image for access to a larger version). NLCs are usually seen during the summertime, appearing at sunset. They are thin, wavy ice clouds that form at very high altitudes and reflect sunlight long after the Sun has dropped below the horizon. Scientists don’t know exactly why they form, and they seem to be appearing more and more in recent times.

See more below.

Science writer Will Gater also had a great view of NLCs this morning. Click the image to see his animation, or see more of his images and animations at his website post.

NLCs seen over the UK on July 1, 2011. Click to see animation. Credit: Will Gater

Another view of Noctilucent Clouds from Kendal Castle in the UK on July 1, 2011. Credit: Stu Atkinson

See more from Stu Atkinson at his Cumbrian Sky website.

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Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today's Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT's Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

6 Responses

  1. Vic Singsnap Packman says:

    How can these be taken today July 1st. in England ,it wont be dark for another 3 hours.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cause they were taken in the AM, says morning in the story!!

  3. Catherine Campbell says:


  4. Ken Lord says:

    Not just in the UK … At about 10:30pm local time tonight (July 1st) I noticed some bright noctilucent clouds in the northern sky here in Pitt Meadws BC (outskirts of Vancouver BC). Probably the first time i’ve noticed such clouds before. I ran out and got some shots. I’ll update this comment with a couple links shortly.

Comments are closed.