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NASA balloon examines electric blue clouds

A NASA balloon has captured rare images from right at the very edge of Earth's atmosphere, where it has been examining a thin group of electric blue clouds with high-powered cameras.
Polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs) form 50 miles above the poles during summer. They're mostly made up of ice crystals and appear like faint lines in the sky.The clouds are only visible during twilight, when the angle of the sun reflects off them and causes them to shine a bright electric blue or white colour.Over the course of a five-day mission, a NASA research balloon captured pictures of these clouds in the mesosphere - near to the very edge of space.It flew from Sweden across the Arctic to Canada using the sophisticated cameras aboard to snap six million high-resolution images which the scientists are now analysing."From what we've seen so far, we expect to have a really spectacular dataset from this mission," said Dave Fritts, the mission's principal investigator.Mr Fritts, of the PMC Turbo mission at Global Atmospheric Technologies and Sciences in Boulder, added that the team hoped the dataset would provide "new insights into these complex dynamics".
NASA balloon examines electric blue clouds

Image:
A picture of the clouds from NASA's video. Pic: Mike Bartils
Atmospheric motions, such as airflow over mountains or the motions caused by thunderstorms, can cause disturbances in the atmosphere which are generated through something called gravity waves.
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