On the cusp of our atmosphere live a thin group of seasonal electric blue clouds. Forming fifty miles above the poles in summer, these clouds are known as noctilucent clouds or polar mesospheric clouds — PMCs. A recent NASA long-duration balloon mission observed these clouds over the course of five days at their home in the mesosphere. The resulting photos, which scientists have just begun to analyze, will help us better understand turbulence in the atmosphere, as well as in oceans, lakes, and other planetary atmospheres, and may even improve weather forecasting.

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Music credit: “In The End” By Andrew John Skeet [PRS], Andrew Michael Britton [PRS], David Stephen Goldsmith [PRS] from Killer Tracks

Credits: David Fritts (GATS): Scientist
Joy Ng (USRA): Producer
Mara Johnson-Groh (Wyle Information Systems): Writer
Tom Bridgman (GST): Data Visualizer
William Putman (NASA/GSFC): Data Visualizer