Three years has elapsed since I last saw a display of Noctilucent Clouds from the UK, but the 2009 season is more than making up for the long gap! However, they were visible one night in Iceland last year, so the wait has not been quite as bad as it may seem.
A nice view was obtained on the night of 16th June...
Iridescent blue clouds lie low in the sky beyond the wooded hills to the north of Hurst Green. Despite being in the direction of London these NLCs lie well beyond London and are completely unaffected by the orange light pollution emanating from the capital city. The star Capella lies just to the left of the broad tree towards the right hand side of the picture.
My next view was the best I have ever seen, caught before dawn on the 19th June. This composite of 3 photos shows the extent of the NLCs in the north eastern sky, with the crescent Moon to the far right. Venus should also have beeen visible but was hidden behind the trees to the left of the Moon.
The rounded tree towards the left of the picture is the same as the one towards the right of the 16th June photo so you can see how much more extensive the clouds were on this occasion - extending to around 30 degrees elevation, unprecedented for southern England!
After a gap of 3 weeks, they were back on July 12th, with probably the best evening display I have seen...
A delicate wave structure is revealed in a display that was seen extensively from the UK and Europe.
The following night a smaller display was present at around 10.30pm local time, but ordinary alto-cumulus clouds, well illuminated by the lights of London, spoilt the view so no photos.