Noctilucent Cloud (NLC) stereo


This might be the first NLC stereo in the world … who knows …

I put two photographs together for this stereo, taken a few minutes apart, by my great friend Jamie Cooper.

Noctilucent Cloud by Jamie Cooper

This stereo clearly shows the ‘normal’ terrestrial clouds in the foreground, in a layer stretching out towards us … and behind them, in a completely different plane, the magnificent “Noctilucent” clouds … which are reckoned to be at least 50 miles above us. NLC’s are not usually so prevalent, especially in these latitudes. The usual explanation is that they are caused by extremely high layers of ice crystals. Jamie thinks they may be connected with the recent volcanic eruptions in Russia, throwing debris into the upper atmosphere.

For the technically inquisitive: this is not a case of using a true extended stereo baseline. The parallax in the ‘normal’ clouds is due to their movement from left to right between the two exposures, and so is really a ‘false perspective’. The NLC’s were moving much more slowly, and in the other direction, so they appear ‘flat’, and a long way away. But, in this case, the illusion is close to the reality.

But how did that elephant get up there?