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Mesosphere: events of interests

Mesosphere is generally considered as non-event zone with the decreasing temperature with the increasing height. However, there are certain features or events that are unique to this layer of atmosphere. They are

Noctilucent Cloud:

  • They are weak cloud like phenomena in the upper atmosphere.
  • They are visible in a deep twilight.
  • They are made of ice crystals
  • They are most commonly observed in the summer months at latitudes b/w 50 to 70 N & S
  • They are visible only during summer and when sun is below the horizon, but the clouds are still high in sunlight i.e. they are not visible during day.
  • Occurrence of Noctilucent Cloud are good indicator of climate change in recent days, their occurrence appears to be increasing in frequency, brightness and extent.

Sprites:  

  • They are large scale electric discharge which occur high above a thunderstorm cloud or Cumulonimbus cloud.
  • SPRITE– > Stratospheric / Mesospheric Perturbation Resulting from Intense Thunderstorm E
  • They normally are colored – reddish, orange or greenish blue.
  • They often occur in clusters b/w 50 to 90 km above Earth’s surface.

Blue Jets :  

  • They result due to strong hail activity in thunderstorms while Sprites result due to lightening
  • They are brighter than sprites
  • They are blue in color due to a set of blue & near ultra –violet emissions from neutral & ionized molecular nitrogen.
  • They occur less frequently than sprites
  • They occur b/w lower level of ionosphere to 40 to 50 km
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