They are our highest clouds - called Noctilucent Clouds. Nano particles from meteors coated with ice crystals and the condition needs -83°C in order to appear. They are only visible in a certain angle, when the sun is below 7-12 degrees under the horizon, and only during a shorter period during summer, between end of June to at the most, mid August.

The amount of visible Noctilucent Clouds, were once only a Scandinavian (i assume as well high in Canada and Alaska and Russia, as well) - but during the recent two decades, they span over a much larger area over the Northern Hemisphere, down to latitude previously unknown to see them; France, Paris, Northern Italy (if you on a mountain).

No exception this year, again bright Noctilucent Clouds where sighted over Switzerland, and images form Paris with electrical blue shining Noctilucent Clouds. Quite amazing.

So, what is it, that these have increased ? I do not know, and nobody truly knows, no matter what kind of speculation. But I can add my own personal thought to this, where I believe that meteoric bombardment (and sightings of really bright ones) have increased a lot during the past decades, especially in the past 10-15 years. Which would increase the meteoric dust at e.g. 85 km height... (since it is where they start to glow on their way further down.


Layers of Earth's atmosphere

But that's just one way to look at it. I am sure there are other factors involved as well. Perhaps a sort of larger cooling in the highest part of the "atmosphere" (called something else up there, I know). Or let's check. Mesosphere, it is called, stretching from 40-50 km to 80-90 km. Here is a simplistic illustration I found.



Outbreak over Stockholm

It wasn't the first time I have seen Noctilucent Clouds hovering at the horizon towards the North. There have been a few times you could see them - and I remember one time in June, in which almost the entire sky was covered (albeit very faint, because it wasn't very dark at night). But photographically, it wasn't anything spectacular. Then the other night, there was a brighter outbreak, but I was at work, and had no good full sight of them, so I only made on photo, nothing to write home about.


Last Midnight (18-19 July 2022)

Now this time, it was very different. As I went home, going off the subway around midnight, i noticed a bright outbreak of Noctilucent Clouds. At first without too many features. But what was striking, was the brightness of them ! Since we already passed summer solstice 1 month ago, it has gone darker now - but still light. But last midnight, the sky towards the North felt as if we were back at summer solstice, June 21. Or almost as, I would say - it felt that bright ! At least much brighter than usual.

Think of the clouds acting like a huge sail, against which the sun light is reflected towards earth, into the twilight. After all, they appear because they are still reflecting the sunlight- while all other, much lower located clouds, are all dark. That's the reason the Noctilucent Clouds looked bright, and made the twilight appear brighter than normal. It looked to me like a "false twilight"... (once you get conscious about the unusual appearance).

Very pretty. Later, exciting features appeared, like fine spun spider webs, waves and undulating features. But around 02.00 it all started to fade...


below, how the Noctilucent Clouds around 00:29 made competition to the bright lights from the neighbouring house complex ! That bright they were...

The last image (3) shows the scenery around 01:17



Photo technical aspects

I was lazy, and didn't want to engage my big tripod on my with flower crammed balcony - so I took handheld images, with help of the balcony railing. The exposure times lasted between 0.8 seconds to 1/4 with the Canon EOS R6, fixed at ISO 100 - and yes, they turned sharp !

The lenses were • TTArtisan 21mm f 1.5 ASPH, then the • Canon EF 35/2 IS and for finer details the • Canon EF 135/2 L.


The formidable Canon EOS R6

The Canon R6 is a (at times fiddly) but absolutely formidable camera. Not too many pixels, in favor of better ISO noise behavior - and excellent in body Image stabilization support, and excellent focus accuracy. It is really one of a kind - and I wouldn't trade for the world for the EOS R5 with hyper many pixels. It's just not needed, and I never like the noise it produces - so I am not sure what the fuzz is about.


Brain & Ideas vs Real Life Experience
(Illusions, Marketing, Propaganda) vs Reality

The only time I would need or like (but truly not necessary) - is a high megapixel camera for reproduction of analog negatives. For example medium format negatives.

Yet - I also realize that 30 MP (from the EOS R) are more than enough for the purpose of reproduction, i have noticed in real life, even if you have to cut away some of the pixels, when you deal with 6x6 negatives, it all turns out amazingly good ! I also noticed that a 30 MP often out resolves the resolving power of most analog film... So, there you go.

More megapixels really do not bring in more info or sharpness from analog negatives, when there isn't any more. So, 20-30 MP are absolutely enough for reproduction of negatives. And after all, if you really need it - you can always stitch them - resulting into higher Megapixels.


When them mind keeps a secret
power string attached to your beliefs

Sometimes the (ego) mind has ideas, which it does not seem to get over - and you secretly still yearn, persistently for something - albeit reality shows that in 99% of the cases, it will not bring more information, sharpness or resolving powers. Yet, you insist... And go the qurky (expensive) way until it hits you.

The results can of your ideas can turn out into the opposite of what you desire - because you didn't factor in potential aspects unknown to you... Some people thought that the Fuji GFX 100 with its colossal 100 MP would give more resolving power from large negatives... only to realize, that Fuji's "macro" lens, does a lousy job in resolving Macro images (e.g. reproduction). When you have 100 MP at your fingertips, the art of keeping the camera absolutely still during the exposure / reproduction of negatives, often requires excessive measurements, in order to accomplish the task (without cheating). So, you may actually get slightly blurred images, without any difference to a camera that uses "only" 20 or 30 Million pixels - because even the slightest of vibration, even the ones you do not even notice, sets in the degradation in the final results !


There goes 100 million pixels for nothing.

How much did you have to pay for the idea of sharper reproductions ? At last 12.000 € and more. Only because the brain was convinced to even cram more "quality" and power... because 20-30 MP were not enough. All that - to get the opposite results.

Notice that I am speaking about the task of reproduction from ANALOG NEGATIVES, nothing else.

That's what I mean, when I say; the brain has ideas - but it doesn't mean it gives you Nirvana (which is what the Ego loves to insist on, and entice you with...). It often has a tendency to give you the opposite of what you desire, keeping you in a long loop, and on top often tends to create more problems than you had bargained for.

I say with my 30 Megapixels when I reproduce analog negatives. I have shown in the past months, how beautiful these turn out.

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