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© Stu Atkinson
Panoramic view of Noctilucent Clouds from Kendal Castle in the UK.
Mysterious "night shining" or Noctilucent Clouds are beautiful to behold, and here are some gorgeous examples what skywatchers in the UK have been experiencing. Stu Atkinson took this stunning panoramic view from Kendal Castle. (Click image for access to a larger version). NLCs are usually seen during the summertime, appearing at sunset. They are thin, wavy ice clouds that form at very high altitudes and reflect sunlight long after the Sun has dropped below the horizon. Scientists don't know exactly why they form, and they seem to be appearing more and more in recent times.

Science writer Will Gater also had a great view of NLCs this morning. Click here to see his animation, or see more of his images and animations at his website post.

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© Will Gater
NLCs seen over the UK on July 1, 2011.

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© Stu Atkinson
Another view of Noctilucent Clouds from Kendal Castle in the UK on July 1, 2011.
See more from Stu Atkinson at his Cumbrian Sky website.