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An explanation for the circular-shaped cloud locals saw Monday morning

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Posted at 8:00 AM, May 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-21 09:04:55-04

Several News 3 viewers sent in photos showing a circular-shaped cloud they saw early Monday morning.

Viewers called it a “ring cloud,” “circle cloud” and just plain “weird cloud.” So…what is it?

News 3 Meteorologist Myles Henderson says the cloud appears to be a noctilucent cloud, likely triggered by a rocket launch from Wallops Island at about 4:45 a.m.

Noctilucent clouds are rare cloud forms made of ice crystals and dust from meteor smoke that occur at a higher altitude than any other cloud form, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.