THERE have been two major displays of noctilucent clouds in the past week and there's now no doubt that the 2019 NLC season is shaping up to be one of the best for many years, with more displays than usual, writes STUART ATKINSON. They are also brighter and larger in the sky than usual. So, this makes it all the more important that on any clear night during the rest of July you all keep an eye on the sky after darkness begins to fall. You really don't want to miss the next big display.

Usually NLC-hunters look to the north for signs of a display around midnight, but a couple of this season's displays have been visible in the north east, soon after sunset, and have then gone on to drift towards the north, climbing higher and getting brighter as the night passed. So don't just look to the north, scan the whole of the sky from the NW to the NE after dark in case NLC are approaching us from European countries to our east.

You can tell NLC apart from normal clouds because NLC shine with a beautiful silvery-blue light, silhouetting the normal clouds, which look like dark ink blotches against them. NLC have unique structures too, totally unlike any structures seen in other clouds; you will see twirls and curls, streamers and banners and cross-hatch webs of electric blue light during a big display.

If you want to be sure of catching the next display you can follow NLC watchers like myself on social media. If that's not your thing well you're just going to have to get off your comfy sofa, pull on a coat - and go outside and look for yourself.