Great display of noctilucent clouds over Finland

I observed a bright display of noctilucent clouds over sky of Turku, SW Finland in the night between 23./24. of July 2014. I spotted the clouds already at 20:30 UT when sky was still considerably light. I walked to my observing site, and I was greeted with a magnificent all sky display of noctilucent clouds! The noctilucent clouds just got brighter as the night proceeded. During the deepest twilight of Finnishs summer night, the night shining clouds were evolving quickly and developing all kinds of complex structure and forms! The noctilucent clouds were still visible when I went sleeping at about 00:00 UT.


Cygnus -summer meeting of Finnish amateur astronomers was organized in Mäntsälä 17.-20.7.2014

The traditional Cygnus -summer meeting of Finnish amateur astronomers was organized in Mäntsälä, Southern Finland. The event place was a camping site of the local Parish, called Leiriniemi. The place is located in the shores of a small lake called Keravanjärvi. The number of participants was about 120, which has been quite typical number during recent years.

The programme of the event consisted of lectures and workshops. Also a museum visit to home site museum of A.E. Nordenskiöld was included in programme. A.E. Nordenskiöld was an explorer, cartographer, mineralogist and geologist born and raised in Finland. Nordenskiöld was the first man to navigate through the Northeast passage. One of the most anticipated lectures was the 3rd part of the lecture series about the Moon race during the Cold war given by Hannu Määttänen. Other popular and interesting lectures were the lecture given by Arto Oksanen about the spectropolarimetry -observations of T Pyx in VLT, Chile and the lecture given by FMI researcher Harri Haukka about the Rosetta -comet exploration mission. Outside the formal programme, we were having sauna and having some good time with other fellow amateur astronomers and friends. The event ended in the excursion to Tähtikallio observatory in Artjärvi, only 60km from the event site.

Weather during the event was mostly warm and sunny, except few isolated showers. We also were able to observe some thunderstorms during the event. Noctilucent clouds were observed only during the first night of the event.

More photos here.

Bright noctilucent clouds 11./12.7.2014

Observed phenomena: Noctilucent clouds
Observed NLC forms:

  • I (Veil)
  • IIa (Bands with diffuse, blurred edges)
  • IIb (Bands with sharply defined edges)
  • IIIa (Short, straight and narrow streaks)
  • IIIb (Wave-like structure with undulations)
  • IVa (Whirls with small angular radius (0.1 – 0.5 degrees))
  • IVb (Simple curve(s) with angular radius of 3 – 5 degrees)
  • IVc (Large-scale whirls)
  • 0 (A form which does not fit into types I – IV)
  • S (NLC with bright ‘knots’)
  • P (Billows crossing a band)

Brightness of the NLCs: 4 (NLC very bright and attracting the attention of casual observers)

Elevation: 130°

Date: 11./12.7.2014
Time: 22:00-00:00 UT
Observing place: Turku, Finland
Observing method: Photography
Technical information about photographing equipment: Canon EOS 1100D, Canon EF-S 18-55mm

A very bright all-sky NLC display appeared in the sky of Turku in the night between 11th and 12th of July 2014! During the night, the NLC’s extended long way to the southern sky, only the shadow of Earth was limiting the visibility of NLC’s. In this display, practically all kinds of NLC forms were visible. The display was dominated by a persistent fan-like structure formed by NLC belts which was opening from northeastern sky. Some belts in western sky reached brightness 5, which is the highest brightness in the brightness scale used with noctilucent clouds. The NLC’s were also very persistent, and it took long time for them to vanish completely to the sunrise. I noticed the NLC’s at 22:00 UT and they were visible still at 01:00 UT, when sky was already very light!.

Happy birthday, blog!

Happy birthday, blog!

I just realized, that I have been blogging now for six years! Actually the date when I began blogging was 29th of June 2008. So this is a bit late, but anyway, I’ll post this!

I started blogging in late June 2008 in Finnish with the old blog called Taivaanpallo in Blogspot. It means Celestial Sphere in Finnish. I kept blogging in Finnish up to late 2010 when I started a new blog in English. The new blog was called Celestial Sphere. In late 2011 I started a new blog in WordPress and transferred the contents of the old blogs from Blogspot to WordPress. Then I discontinued and deleted the old blogs entirely. Since that I have been blogging here in WordPress!

Thanks for all of you who have shown interest to my blog and have stayed with me! I really appreciate it!

Now nights are getting gradually darked here up north, and the season of noctilucent clouds has started! I’ll be observing them whenever I can, and then I’ll be blogging here about the best and most interesting displays!

With sunny greetings,