The other night, there was a beautiful outbreak of Noctilucent Clouds again. Not as intense bright like the ones during 19 July, but nevertheless, long lasting as well with changing, details and waves. Also yesterday evening/this morning, Noctilucent clouds where present - albeit mostly obscured by low clouds, so I never made any photos.


Meteoric nano-sized dust

It's fascinating, these strange "electric blue" looking clouds at 80-85 km height. Meteoric dust as nano-sized particles surrounded by ice crystals, and still illuminated by the sun. You can never see them in daylight, and never when it is really dark. Only during twilight when the sun stands below the horizon in a certain angle. You can only see them over the Northern Hemisphere during summer (June until mid August). And they require a temperature of at least -83°C or colder, to form - which is a temperature that only is reached during summer.

I assume that shooting up rockets and satellites contributes further to the phenomenon of Noctilucent Clouds. This year 133 satellite have been sent up... which is supposedly a record breaking number during (a half) year.


Almost like "cheating"

I made plenty of images, albeit all handheld, with exposure times between 0.8" and 1/4 sec. And they all turned out sharp. It is really fascinating to work with cameras and lenses with Image stabilization. I mean, it really eliminates the use of tripods. Only when you need longer exposure times; a second or longer - a tripod is invaluable. And yes, even when handheld at slow speeds like 1/2 seconds, a tripod still brings out that little extra sharpness (albeit you then have to turn of IS).

But it is cool. I used both the Canon EOS R6 with a 50mm f 1.2 lens, a 135 mm f 2 lens, and the Olympus OM-1 (with a 150 mm f 1.8 equivalent lens) with the result that all images turned out sharp.

Fascinating. Truly.

However, it is advised to lean against something steady, in order to get a higher percentage of sharp images when you are working with shutter speeds around 1 seconds or half second.

It definitely gives you better results.

- 131 -