(Answer) These are noctilucent clouds. What does ‘noctilucent’ mean in Latin?

[7-31-2022] Microsoft Rewards Bing Homepage Quiz Question: These are noctilucent clouds. What does ‘noctilucent’ mean in Latin?

The given options are:

  • See-through
  • Night-shining
  • Otherworldly

Correct Answer: Night-shining

Info: Noctilucent roughly means ‘night-shining,’ an apt name since the clouds are difficult to see during the day. Noctilucent clouds, or night-shining clouds, are tenuous cloud-like phenomena in Earth’s upper atmosphere. When viewed from space, they are called polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs), detectable as a diffuse scattering layer of water ice crystals near the summer polar mesopause. They consist of ice crystals and, from the ground, are only visible during astronomical twilight. Noctilucent roughly means “night shining” in Latin. They are most often observed during the summer months from latitudes between ±50° and ±70°. They are the highest clouds in Earth’s atmosphere, located in the mesosphere at altitudes of around 76 to 85 km (249,000 to 279,000 ft). Formed of icy dust, they can be seen long after the sun has set on Earth’s surface, while the noctilucent clouds are still in sunlight. (Ref)


All three questions from today’s Bing Homepage Quiz are below. You can find their answers by visiting those pages.

  1. These are noctilucent clouds. What does ‘noctilucent’ mean in Latin?
  2. About how much does an average cloud weigh?
  3. Clouds typically occur in the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere. What’s that layer called?

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