Cloudy evening

Clouds tonight, tiny specs of cloud and long mares tails. About 8pm tonight. The colours were beautiful and gentle. I think these clouds come before rain, so it might be thundering tomorrow.

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At about six o’clock I saw this out of the landing window. A similar sort of cloud but without the whispy bits.

Looking up at clouds is fascinating. If you are interested you could look up the cloud appreciation society. There is a Facebook page about it.

Noctilucent clouds.

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High up in the atmosphere, close to space, Noctilucent clouds start to appear in the summer months. They glow an almost electric blue and are caused by sunlight reflecting off gas particles from meteors that have broken and burned up as they strike the earth’s atmosphere at high speeds. Over the last few years these clouds have become more common and scientists are investigating why.

I see information about these and other atmospheric and astronomical phenomena at Spaceweather.com a fascinating Web page.

Con trail excitement!

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Just had the excitement of seeing a con trail overhead. Con stands for condensation, it’s when a jet airplane flies high up and the hot and humid exhaust gases from its engine condense out as ice crystals in the very low temperature and low vapour pressure air. Its like when you breathe out in the winter and your breath turns into ice if its cold enough.

For some reason there is a conspiracy theory that the vapour is made of chemicals and that governments are spreading them from the planes.

Ask yourself, why would they do that? There were experiments in the mid twentieth century to try and ‘seed’ clouds to make them rain. But it didn’t really take off!

It is strange how these weird ideas get into the world. I prefer thinking things through. If it doesn’t make sense can it be true?

Anyway I don’t think one con trail makes for the end of the lockdown here, like the old saying ‘one swallow doesn’t make a summer’. And really, I for one would like there to be a lot less flights, or more ecologically sustainable ones when things do resolve themselves.

In the meantime please stay safe.

Good morning.

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Planet with water vapour.

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On the news tonight. A planet about twice the size of Earth has been found with water vapour in its atmosphere. Its around 100 light years away. Apparently its within the ‘goldilocks’ area around its star so its temperature is between 0°C and 40°C. It would be amazing if there was life there. The latest science is now looking for chemical traces in planetary atmospheres to look for the possibility of life on other planets.

I think the first extra solar planet was found in 1984? Since then about four thousand have been found. There are Hot Jupiter’s that orbit their stars closer than the orbit of Mercury in our solar system. There are cold Jupiter’s, there are also planets like Earth with surfaces that are covered in lava because they are close to their stars. And then there are terrestrial (rocky) planets that are more like the ones in our system.

One thing is certain, there are more planets out there than we know!

Waiting for weather.

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Sky keeps going dark grey, a sudden squall of rain then bright again, sunshine and showers.  I’m watching the trees bend in the wind, the weather station anammometer twirling in the wind. In some places round here the power is out.

As I watch the blitzortung app on my phone I can see thunderstorms trundling across the country. Their trails changing from white, yellow, orange and red. White most recent, red in the past. You can track their movement. I’m not sure if they will get here or bypass us.

The weather is unseasonably autumnal. Festivals due to be happening thus weekend have been cancelled because of the strong winds. I’m sitting here in the dark. The radio is on. My hubby is making coffee and I’m waiting for the first flash.

Through the window

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Sitting in the Barnicle cafe, Fenton town hall, Stoke-on-Trent. I looked up and saw the ornamental cherry tree through the window and the stained glass above. The lights were on inside the cafe because the clouds were dark and low, but it was a pleasant place to have a lunch break. Cheese oatcakes and fruit loaf toast were our delicious meal. Sometimes a simple recipe can be as effective in sating your hunger as a complicated and over fancy meal. The friendly atmosphere and warm welcome made it even more pleasant.

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Dark skies

The sun was setting, the light levels were low, and the enclosing buildings around spode seemed to darken the view even more. But when you have clouds like this it makes for a fantastic atmosphere. It makes me want to paint that sky. The blues, greys and browns shimmer, it was beautiful.

And against the industrial archaeology of Spode Site it seems entirely the right kind of sky.