Noctilucent Clouds Light Up Northern Germany



High in the atmosphere, noctilucent clouds are ethereal wisps of ice that form along the mesopause, where the mesosphere transitions into the thermosphere. Familiar in the summer polar sky, these clouds are less common at lower latitudes. Kühlungsborn, a small town in northern Germany, lies at the edge where these unique clouds can survive. In 2019, an unusually large number of noctilucent clouds (NLCs) formed over the town in the early summer, many of which lingered in the night sky.

A research team at the Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics at Rostock University, Germany, set out to understand the atmospheric dynamics that led to this unusual event. The results of the team’s study were published in the March issue of…



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