NASA captures stunning images of a rare blue Cloud

A NASA-launched balloon flying across the Arctic captured images of rare blue clouds formed from the interaction of ice crystals with meteorite fragments.

Better understanding of these unusual phenomena known as polar submersible clouds (PMCs) can help scientists understand atmospheric disturbances and can play a role in weather forecasting.

Clouds appear shortly after sunset in the polar regions during the summer, where ice forms around the remains of a meteorite in the upper atmosphere.

“Our cameras are likely to be able to capture some interesting events, and we hope to present new insights into these complex dynamics,” said Dr. Dave Fritz, who led the PMC Turbo mission.

When the mission balloon flew through the stratosphere for 5 days, the cameras obtained 6 million high resolution images. The so-called gravity waves in the atmosphere, caused by blocks of air that run when obstacles such as mountain ranges, play an important role in cloud formation.

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