The Night the Sky Danced

The sky still glows after sunset because of stars, the band of our Milky Way and because noctilucent clouds or aurora show up. Rare individually, both were visible in this time lapse movie which was taken over Caithness in Scotland during a single night in August 2013.

First noted in 1885, noctilucent clouds are known to correlate with atmospheric meteor trails, although details and the origins of others remain a topic of research. These meandering bright filaments of sunlight-reflecting ice crystals are the highest clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere.

The video captured not only a variety of noctilucent clouds, but also how their structure varies over time. Watch it again and see how lower clouds appear dark or fast moving. About halfway through the video, watch how the clouds are joined by an aurora, each doing their own separate dance.

Video credits: Maciej Winiarczyk. Music: Jolanta Galka-Kurkowska. Winiarczykis an award-winning nightscape and landscape photographer and videographer. He is based in Wick, Caithness on the far north of mainland Scotland.

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