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Noctilucent cloud season is well underway
THE Noctilucent Cloud season is now well underway, not that we've seen much of it because of this horrible weather. Observers across Europe and the northern US have enjoyed several spectacular shows since the start of the month. Hopefully it will be our turn soon. Remember to scan the northern sky after midnight on any clear night we get now. If you see striking, bright blue lines, streamers or ripples of silvery blue you're seeing a display of NLC.
As you look for those NLC you'll see a bright, gold-hued star shining just above the northern horizon. This is Capella, brightest star in Auriga and it is actually two pairs of stars, one pair huge yellow giants, the other pair much smaller red dwarfs. In mythology, Auriga was a chariot rider, and Capella was a goat perched on his shoulder. Look to Capella's right and you'll see a tiny triangle of faint blue-white stars. These are ‘The Kids,’ three baby goats bleating and wagging their tails next to their mother, Capella. Awwww!