Noctilucent clouds

One of the additional research programs in our Laboratory is the observations of the Noctilucent clouds (NLC) in the Earth atmosphere, formed on the heights about 80 km. This work is connected with the Space program of Kazakhstan Academy of Sciences, which fulfilled by second Kazakhstan cosmonaut Talgat Musabaev during his longtime flights in the "MIR" Orbital station in 1994 and 1998. The groundbased observations of the noctilucent clouds were organized by our Laboratory in the region of the optimal visibility of these formations in the upper atmosphere in Petropavlovsk (Northern Kazakhstan) in collaboration with Petropavlovsk University. Inspite of the common opinion that the noctilucent clouds can not be observable on the latitudes lower than 48 degrees, we have registered the apparitions of NLC in Alma-Ata (the NLC were placed over Northern Kazakhstan) in the summer of 1996, 1997, and 1998, although it was very rare phenomena, of course. The Noctilucent clouds are very interesting phenomena for planetary researchers also because very similar formations are observed on Mars (especially near morning or evening limbs of the planet) as "blue clouds" or "blue haze".

GIF 79.7K

The Noctilucent clouds, photographed at the night 20-21 July 1998 in Petropavlovsk