Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Meteor Dust Found in Rare Earth NLC Clouds

Meteor Smoke Makes Strange Clouds

August 7, 2012:  Anyone who's ever seen a noctilucent cloud or “NLC” would agree: They look alien.  The electric-blue ripples and pale tendrils of NLCs reaching across the night sky resemble something from another world.
Researchers say that's not far off.  A key ingredient for the mysterious clouds comes from outer space.
"We've detected bits of 'meteor smoke' imbedded in noctilucent clouds," reports James Russell of Hampton University, principal investigator of NASA's AIM mission to study the phenomenon.  "This discovery supports the theory that meteor dust is the nucleating agent around which NLCs form."
Meteor Smoke (splash)
A new ScienceCast video explains how "meteor smoke" seeds noctilucent clouds. Play it


Source: NASA Science News


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