Good news - the 2020 Noctilucent Cloud season has begun, writes Stuart Atkinson.

Even before the first week of June, when we tend to see the first signs of activity, there had been two good displays of these beautiful “night shining clouds”, both clearly visible to the naked eye. Hopefully that’s a good omen for an exciting season ahead.

Noctilucent Clouds are icy clouds on the edge of space, and they only form up there in summer. They are so high that they catch the sunlight long after nightfall down here on the ground, and then we see them in the northern part of the sky as patches of blue-white, broken up into swirls, tendrils and streamers. Some displays are low and faint, others can fill the whole of the northern sky with fantastic shapes and glorious colours.

So, on any clear nights from now until the end of July keep an eye on the northern sky for NLC. Start looking around an hour or so after sunset, but be prepared to wait until the small hours before seeing anything. And bear in mind that NLC don’t appear every night, so looking for them can be very frustrating. It’s worth it though, to see something so beautiful in the night sky.