Noctilucent clouds #1

This week I was out with my camera to catch the first auroras of the season. While the aurora was still faint due to the long summer nights, I saw finally some noctilucent clouds for the very first time. It was an electric sight, seeing those clouds lighting up the sky. Here are some facts I picked up from wikipedia:

Noctilucent clouds are visible in deep twilight only, when sunlight is illuminating the tiny crystals of water ice from below the horizon. This happens only when the sun is somewhere between -6° and -16°. Located in the mesosphere at altitudes of around 80 kilometres, NLCs are the highest clouds in Earth’s atmosphere. Noctilucent roughly means ‘night shining’ in Latin.”

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Nocticlucent #1

The Belt of Venus

Seems I ran into winter blues in the middle of July, strange thing. And yet, not really – for me. Choosing between -20C and +30C is a no-brainer :) I love the crisp air, the white snow and of course Northern lights in clear nights.

The photo below was taken in Lapland just before sunrise last February. There might be a few things it you may have stared at but never heard of. The pink band on the horizon is called the ‘Belt of Venus’. Its “rosy pinkish arch is visible long after sunset or long before sunrise by backscattering or refracted sunlight due to fine dust particles high up in the atmosphere” (1). The color is a mix of “backscattered sunlight reddened by the atmosphere and the deep blue of the anti-sunward sky”(2).

Below the Belt of Venus is a dark bluish band called ‘Earth’s Shadow’. The name here is rather self-explanatory as it stands  “for the shadow that the Earth itself casts on its atmosphere. This shadow is often visible from the surface of the Earth, as a dark band in the sky near the horizon”(3).

Next time you are out around sunset / sunrise time, check out the sky opposite from the sun. You may see familiar phenomena in the lower sky :)

Copyright: Thomas Kast

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(1) wikipedia
(2) atoptics.co.uk
(3) wikipedia

 

Spinning in the snow

Lightpainting is a lot of fun and spinning is one of my favorite ways to do so. Often it’s done in total darkness, in winter I really love how the sparks create a warm glow in the cold, snowy landscape. Landing in the snow, they light up the snow around them as if many small candles would be hidden just beneath the snow cover.

During last February’s 8-day winter/aurora tour in Lapland, I offered a lightpainting mini-workshop and this is one of the results.

For many of you, it’s summer time right now, perhaps this view will cool you down :)

Copyright: Thomas Kast

After the sunset

In June we had a lot of rainy days here in Oulu area, about double than in average. While it would be great to have more sunny hours, all that humidity tends to rise up in the air after sunset. It so happened the other night on a field nearby my home. After raining a lot in the afternoon the skies cleared my camera (and I) was treated to this lovely view:

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Industrial silhouettes

A sunset captured from Vihiluoto towards Oulu. Often I usually try to avoid industrial plants but here I loved them as silhouettes under the colorful sky. The buildings on the left belong to the Port of Oulu and on the right the paper factory catches one’s eye.

Today is the ‘hottest’ day of the year so far, the thermometer reached +22 C. Hope you have a nice start into July! :)

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Drift wood

It’s the time when sunsets turn into sunrises, wonderful light in the sky for hours. This piece of drift wood got washed ashore and seemed just waiting for me to be captured with the camera :)

Still fighting with my sickness, so my online time is limited. Hope you are all fine and had a lovely midsummer weekend!

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Driftwood