Noctilucent clouds light up the night sky

If you were up late enough yesterday - the night sky had a treat in store. Noctilucent clouds were shining over the region, long after the sun had set.

Hartlepool Credit: Ashley Foster

Noctilucent clouds are made up of ice crystals, occasionally appearing in late clear summer evenings after sunset.

The ice crystals are so high up in the atmosphere that they are still able to reflect the Sun's light.

They become visible about the same time as the brightest stars appear and often stay visible after dark.

St Mary's Lighthouse Credit: Stephen Lomas

They are higher up than any other clouds, occupying the layer of atmosphere known as the Mesosphere, and are only seen at latitudes between 45°N and 80°N in the Northern Hemisphere, and equivalent latitudes in the southern hemisphere.

Met Office
Jesmond Credit: David Whinham