Update with extra pictures: Luminous summer clouds light up the Tackley sky at night

The noctilucent clouds captured by Mary Spicer

The noctilucent clouds captured by Mary Spicer

First published in News
Last updated

RARE ethereal-looking clouds were spotted in the county’s skies.

This picture of the noctilucent clouds (NLCs) – sometimes called “night shining clouds” – was taken on Sunday night by amateur astronomer Mary Spicer from her bedroom window in Tackley.

Oxford Mail:

The stunning displays can only be seen during a short six- or seven-week window during the summer months.

NLCs are only visible for about an hour after sunset in the north-western sky, or before sunrise in the north-eastern sky.

Oxford Mail:

Mrs Spicer, 41, below, has been interested in astronomy from a young age and now writes voluntarily for an astronomy magazine.

She said: “This is only a phenomenon during the summer months and they are really tricky to spot.

“They are completely different clouds to any other. They are really high up in the atmosphere, up at the heights where the Northern Lights happen.

Oxford Mail:

“They were just wonderful to see. I saw on Twitter that it might be visible from Oxfordshire and I was just hanging out of my window waiting for them.

Oxford Mail:

“The pictures are amazing and I have never seen a display like that before.”

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS, SPORT and JAYDEN depending on what services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.


Our top stories:

UPDATE: Man arrested after woman raped in Headington flat

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

3:24pm Saturday 20th September 2014

A MAN has been arrested after a woman was followed into a Headington flat and raped yesterday.

Get Oxford Mail news alerts sent direct to your phone via Whatsapp

Oxford Mail: Whats App logo

11:50am Tuesday 3rd June 2014

OXFORD Mail readers can now sign up to get major breaking news alerts sent direct to their mobile phones with a new service using Whatsapp.

Update: Man arrested after teenager raped in city centre

Oxford Mail:

11:57am Saturday 20th September 2014

A MAN was arrested today after a teenager was raped in central Oxford.

Referendum vote gives PM a spring in his step

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 20th September 2014

WITNEY MP David Cameron has congratulated the people of Burford for organising a mock “referendum” on the issue of Scottish independence – but has admitted he was more relieved to find out the result of the actual poll.

Oxford United Wright issues warning

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 20th September 2014

Jake Wright believes it will be key for Oxford United to avoid getting dragged into a physical contest if they are to build on a midweek win when Stevenage visit today.

It's off - three-day city festival is cancelled

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

A THREE-day festival set to take place on Oxford’s South Park next weekend has been cancelled due to poor ticket sales and rumours that one of its big name stars had pulled out.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:43pm Wed 9 Jul 14

BicesterBod says...

Stunning. I've never seen these clouds for real, but lovely to see these photos.
Stunning. I've never seen these clouds for real, but lovely to see these photos. BicesterBod
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree