Mysterious glowing clouds in Eastern Iowa sky explained

BELLE PLAINE, Iowa - People are talking about the mysterious glowing clouds in the sky Saturday night in Eastern Iowa, long after the sun set.

It's a rare weather phenomenon called Noctilucent (knock-tuh-LOO-sent) clouds.

According to the The National Center for Atmospheric Research, it happens when tiny ice crystals up in the atmosphere, more than 50 miles overhead, are able to sometimes still catch the sunlight even though it's already night on the ground.

The glowing clouds were also reported in other parts of Iowa and Minnesota, if lower clouds were clear enough to allow a look at the highest cloud level in the atmosphere. saw the

Photo Michelle Sontag, KCRG-TV 9

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Photo Michelle Sontag

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