Thursday, July 5, 2018

Noctilucent Clouds - A Great Show Yesterday and Some Interesting Facts About Them


On the morning of July 4th we had a HUGE Noctilucent Cloud show.  There was a brief showing the evening before and then shortly after 2:30am on the 4th the sky exploded with a beautiful display.








Noctilucent Clouds ("Night Shining Clouds") should not be confused with our “earthly” clouds.  These have nothing to do with weather.  They are actually frozen space dust particles floating around 47 to 53 miles above the earth’s surface.  They are visible on the Northern horizon.

The conditions have to be just right for us to see them.  Technically, we are too far south to be in the "sweet spot" for viewing.  They are normally only seen between 50 and 70 degrees latitude.  We are at 48 degrees.

They are only visible for a few weeks either side of the summer solstice.  I have captured them from late May and into the middle of July.

For those who like their sleep...  This may not be a popular event since they are only visible during "Astronomical Twilight".  This varies throughout the year, but right now it is about 3 hours before sunrise....  The chart below shows the current "Twilight" times for our area.  


All of these conditions have to come into alignment before these ice particles can be illuminated.  The sun has to be at just the right angle where it is lower than the horizon, still dark at our level and at the same time illuminating these particles.  The graphic below demonstrates this.


A lot of things have to be just right for us to enjoy events like this.  Plus, there is no way to forecast if they will be visible.  Conditions my be just perfect and they won't show up.  They are very fickle. 

A VERY interesting fact about Noctilucent Clouds is that there are no documented reports prior to 1885....  That can open a ton of questions about..... "Human Caused" vs. "Alien Caused" vs. "Climate Change"....  Have fun with that one.... :)

Still images are beautiful, but I really like how Noctilucents move in a time lapse video.  Here is a compilation from 3 of my cameras.




For the record...  I like my sleep....  That is why I have installed all these automated cameras.... :)  I am a lazy photographer....

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Are Personal Fireworks Worth The Cost?

Cliff Mass does an excellent job of covering the price we all pay for fireworks on the Fourth of July.  There is a lot of good information and he shares the science behind the true impact of this holiday.

He mentions:
  1. Wildfires
  2. Air quality
  3. Injuries
  4. Pets
I would like to add a couple more....  

This should be a time to celebrate our country.  It should also be a time to respect and thank the Veterans who have given us this freedom.  PTSD is very real and many of our veterans suffer severely from this.  This holiday is nothing short of torture for those suffering from PTSD.  Today I spoke with a woman whose neighbor is tortured every year from these fireworks.  He served our country honorably.  He has to be sedated and his wife at his side covering him with a blanket and soothing words to get through the 4th.  I am sure he does not feel appreciated or celebrated during this time.  Just something to think about....

I love our beautiful environment and the wildlife we enjoy year around.  This is why I do what I do with Skunk Bay Weather.  This holiday brings torture to all the beautiful wildlife around us.  If we love the wildlife, why do we allow this to happen.  Just something to think about....

I know that folks who live up here truly appreciate the tranquility and beauty of our area.  Most of those I talk to in the area, do not appreciate or enjoy this holiday because of what it has become.  Fireworks bought on the reservation are not legal off the reservation.  Just something to think about.....    

Please take a moment to read Cliff's excellent blog.  He shares some very interesting scientific facts about the end result of this holiday...

Cliff's Blog