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:

Woman sexually assaulted in Bankside area in Banbury

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

6:50pm Sunday 1st February 2015

A WOMAN was sexually assaulted in the Bankside area of Banbury today.

UPDATE: Man left with serious head injuries after being hit with wooden item during fight in Bicester

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

3:17pm Saturday 31st January 2015

THREE men have been arrested after a man was left with "serious injuries," police say.

Landslip near Banbury shuts line to Leamington Spa causing major delays

Oxford Mail: A Chiltern Railways Clubman train

10:29am Sunday 1st February 2015

TRAINS from Oxford to the north of England will be disrupted until at least Tuesday after a landslip on Saturday.

Snow across Oxfordshire - in readers' pictures + forecast

Oxford Mail:

7:43am Saturday 31st January 2015

IT'S been snowing overnight in Oxfordshire and here's some of the pictures our readers have sent in.

Record broken as more than £500,000 raised for Poppy Appeal

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 31st January 2015

THE POPPY Appeal’s fundraising target has been smashed in the county.

Healthcare worker brought back from Africa to UK for Ebola monitoring via Brize Norton

Oxford Mail: RAF logo

1:20pm Saturday 31st January 2015

A British military healthcare worker has been brought back to England for Ebola monitoring after suffering a needle-stick injury while treating a person in Sierra Leone.

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