“Watch Party” – Noctilucent Clouds


Anybody see our ‘Watch Party” tonight on Queen Channel Youtube ? What did you think ?

This is an nice alternative view of the Love of my Life Moment from the O2 – the same night we used for the Watch Party. From Elisabeth F – thanks !!! Well, those were the days. Let’s see what the future brings.

Take care Folks.

Brian May Love of My Life moment – Thanks to Elisabeth F


Noctilucent clouds

This great photo taken last night by astrophotographer Jamie Cooper shows the eerie milky light of these clouds – they’re the blue-white streaks in the upper part of the first picture here. What are they ? Where do they come from? Why do they shine at night ?

Well, there is still some discussion about this. They are generally agreed to be made of ice crystals at an amazing height above the Earth’s surface. Normal clouds drift around, seldom at more than 20,000 feet. These are about 50 miles high ! That’s why sunlight can catch them even though the Sun is way below the horizon to us. So in Jamie’s picture we see them directly lit by full sunlight, and how different they look from normal clouds, lit only by diffuse reddish light filtered through our atmosphere about an hour and a half after sunset (or before sunrise). LOOK TONIGHT – from your rooftop or the top of a hill – or maybe even from your street corner. You may catch them.

They only occur at this time of year. WHY ? Well, that’s the part that [is] in question. The ice crystals need a grain to form around – so it seems they are influenced by the remains of meteors that strike the atmosphere.

But nobody saw these before 1885 – why ? All those shepherds watching their flocks by night ?! They missed them ? Seems unlikely. And every year recently they seem to be getting more common. It’s thought that CO2 and Methane assist the process, up there in the Mesosphere, and we know these gases are on the increase due to man’s activities – including emissions from cars and planes – and of cattle farming, for instance. So this beautiful phenomenon may be a valuable indicator of what Humans are doing to the planet. Have a look tonight ! You don’t need a telescope – just clear skies – best chance around midnight.

Look towards the North if you are in the Northern hemisphere. I honestly don’t know what happens in the Southern hemisphere. Maybe someone will tell me !

Noctilucent clouds

Noctilucent cloudsBri

@ brianmay.com