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

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.