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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 17:21 EDT
NLCs As Seen From the ISS
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NLCs As Seen From the ISS

December 12, 2012
This striking astronaut photograph taken from the International Space Station (ISS) shows polar mesospheric clouds over the Southern Hemisphere on January 30, 2010. Polar mesospheric clouds are also known as noctilucent or “night-shining” clouds—a property that is clearly visible in this astronaut photograph. The clouds exhibit thin, wispy light blue forms that contrast with the darkness of space (image upper right). Lower levels of the clouds are more strongly illuminated by the Sun and appear light orange to white. Clouds closest to the Earth’s surface are reddish-orange (image center). Credit: NASA/Expedition 22 crew