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Noctilucent cloud on the edge of space – shedding light on the atmosphere

November 4, 2009

The discovery of noctilucent (night shining) clouds in 1885 revealed an atmosphere which extended far higher than expected. Since then, these clouds have challenged scientists around the world to find out why they form and vary. Because they scatter solar light, they shimmer at altitudes far above the typical cloud (~51 miles) which makes them an excellent tool to find out more about upper atmospheric processes. Dr. Bodil Karlsson explore how variations in these clouds has revealed new information about the structure and behavior of that thin layer of gas that protects us from outer space.

download lecture slides (PDF)