A Most Excellent Adventure
Kiruna, Sweden
January-March 2000

(click on pictures to enlarge)

Kiruna Clouds

We arrived on 8 January to mild temperatures in the low 30s.  Since we are past the winter solstice by about 2 weeks, the days ar getting longer.  The early dawn, about 9:15a local time, is seen below in the picture A.  As you can see, there is plenty of snow and the appearance of a winter wonderland prevails.  Several hours later at about 2:00p local time, the dusk sky as seen below in picture B, is just as beautiful. Pictures C and D show  polar stratospheric clouds.  They can be  identified because they are bright whereas the surrounding clouds are orange or black.  The black clouds are the lowest, the orange clouds are a bit higher and the bright clouds are completely illuminated by the sun because they are very high and thus in the stratosphere.  Since they are higher and yet appear at the same altitude as the other clouds, they are much further away.