STATES CHRONICLE – Scientists from NASA have revealed luminescent blue clouds floating above the sky of Antarctica. These noctilucent clouds are bound to appear every year over the South Pole. Apparently, this year, the well-known clouds have occurred earlier than experts have expected. This cluster of clouds is the effect of greenhouse gasses over Antarctica. Regarding the records held by NASA, this is the first year when the bright blue clouds happened so early.
We all know that Antarctica represents the southernmost continent of our planet. The South Pole is part of Antarctica being located in the Southern Hemisphere, in the Antarctic region. It is surrounded by the Southern Ocean, being entirely located in the south of the Antarctic Circle. Out of all seven continents on Earth, Antarctica is known to be the windiest, coldest and driest one.
Experts have argued that usually, these night-shining clusters of clouds occur either in late November or early December. Despite scientists’ predictions, this year the blue clouds have appeared on Antarctica’s sky in mid-November. Specialists from NASA use these phosphorescent clouds to decipher the mesosphere surrounding the area, being an atmospheric layer situated above the stratosphere.
Lina Tran from NASA has revealed why these clouds are used as a tool for interpreting and explaining other atmospheric elements. The spacecraft responsible for the mission NASA’s Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) has gathered significant data regarding the annual phenomenon. The captures revealed the electric blue clouds which cover the sky of Antarctica because of the start of the bright blue clouds season in the Southern Hemisphere which occurred earlier than everybody expected it to happen.
This type of clouds represents the highest ones which occur on Terra every year. The phosphorescent clouds are usually located between the surface of our planet and outer space, at about fifty miles above the ground, being part of the atmospheric layer known as mesosphere. These clusters of clouds also contain debris from massive meteors which had disintegrated.
When sunlight hits the clouds, they become bright blue, reflecting light and appearing as fluorescent in the night sky. NASA has posted some captures with these amazing clouds on December 2nd. But the first pictures of these luminescent blue clouds were taken on November 17. They continued the process of formation over the sky of Antarctica until November 28.
Image courtesy of: wikipedia