Yesterday social media was flooded with photos of spectacular clouds visible long after dark in the late evening sky. Even the inhabitants of Warsaw had the opportunity to see something a bit.
What are silver clouds?
Spherical clouds are the highest clouds observed from the Earth’s surface. As mesospheric clouds, they are 75-85 km above the Earth’s surface. For comparison, it can be said that cruise passenger planes crossing our sky never fly higher than at an altitude of 12 km, and the Karmana line, the so-called the space border is at an altitude of 100 km.
Clouds are most often visible at the end of spring and early summer, when the sun does not hide too low below the horizon even after dark. The sun is hidden 5-15 degrees below the horizon, although invisible to observers on Earth, they are visible from a height of 85 km. For this reason, the sun’s rays emitted from the sun still illuminate the clouds from below. From Earth, therefore, they are visible as gently lit clouds in the dark sky.
It is not known where the water vapor comes from at such heights. Sometimes clouds form after the launch of a rocket, when the exhaust gases of engines operating at this height consist largely of steam. In other cases, these may be traces of the cometary matter burning in the Earth’s atmosphere or the passage of a meteoroid.
Last year, I accidentally caught such:
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