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.

Bicester Advertiser:

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.

Bicester Advertiser:

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.

Bicester Advertiser:

“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.

Bicester Advertiser:

“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: