NASA has reported a mysterious electric-blue cloud formation over Antarctica they are saying might shed some gentle on the unusually chilly climate being skilled throughout the east coast of America.
NASA’s AIM spacecraft has been deployed to watch the mysterious cloud.
Wattsupwiththat.com reviews: These are noctilucent clouds (NLCs), manufactured from ice crystals frosting specks of “meteor smoke” within the mesosphere 83 km above the frozen continent. Right here is an animation from the previous week:
That is the season for southern noctilucent clouds. Yearly round this time, summertime water vapor billows up into the excessive environment over Antarctica, offering moisture wanted to kind icy clouds on the fringe of area. Daylight shining by way of the excessive clouds produces an electric-blue glow, which AIM can observe from Earth orbit.
“The present season started on Nov. 19th,” says Cora Randall, a member of the AIM science workforce on the College of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Area Physics. “In comparison with earlier years of AIM knowledge, this season appears to be pretty common, however after all one by no means is aware of what surprises lie forward, notably for the reason that southern hemisphere seasons are so variable.”
The formation of unusual clouds within the excessive environment over distant Antarctica might appear to be of little sensible curiosity–however that will be incorrect.
Researchers finding out NLCs have found surprising teleconnections between these clouds and climate patterns hundreds of miles away.
Two years in the past, for example, Randall and colleagues discovered that the winter air temperature in lots of northern US cities was effectively correlated with the frequency of noctilucent clouds over Antarctica. Understanding how these long-distance connections work may enhance local weather fashions and climate forecasting–all of the extra cause to review eerily stunning NLCs.