View Full Version : Red Sprite Lightning Revealed in Stunning Photo

21st August 2013, 22:02
This is lightning I didn't know existed. Nature is wonderful.

The elusive red lightning called sprites last less than a second. They form above the tops of thunderclouds, when lightning bolts trigger a burst of red light in electrically charged particles.



Because the storms that birth sprites also hide them from view, few sprites are seen from the ground. To better understand the phenomenon, scientists are hunting red sprites from the air. 

University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Jason Ahrns captured stunning images of red sprites during several flights over the Midwest during the 2013 summer aboard the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s Gulfstream V research plane.

Source: http://www.livescience.com/39045-red-sprites-lightning-photo-gallery.html


22nd August 2013, 00:25
beautiful just beautiful

27th July 2017, 15:46
Gigantic jets captured near Mauna Kea, Hawaii (http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=26&month=07&year=2017)

Space Weather (http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=26&month=07&year=2017)
Mon, 24 Jul 2017 02:58 UTC

Every night, the Gemini cloudcam atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii monitor storms approaching some of the world's largest telescopes. It often captures bright bolts of lightning lancing down to the ground below the towering dormant volcano.

On July 24th it captured something lancing up:

https://www.sott.net/image/s20/409711/large/Sprites.jpg (https://www.sott.net/image/s20/409711/full/Sprites.jpg)
© Frankie Lucena

"This amazing lightning-like phenomenon is known as a Gigantic Jet," says Frankie Lucena of Puerto Rico, who processed the video. "They are related to sprites, but more powerful and easier to see with the naked eye."

Cloudcam video caught at least three of these jets springing from the tops of a powerful growing thunderstorm. The tallest of them reached all the way to the ionosphere some 80 km overhead.


"Gigantic Jets are much more rare than sprites," says Oscar van der Velde, a member of the Lightning Research Group at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. "While sprites were discovered in 1989 and have since been photographed by the thousands, it was not until 2001-2002 that Gigantic Jets were first recorded from Puerto Rico and Taiwan." Only a few dozen Gigantic Jets have ever been seen, mostly over open ocean.

Sometimes called "space lightning," Gigantic Jets and their cousins the sprites are true space weather phenomena. They inhabit the upper atmosphere alongside auroras, meteors and noctilucent clouds. Some researchers believe they are linked to cosmic rays: subatomic particles from deep space striking the top of Earth's atmosphere produce secondary electrons that could, in turn, provide the spark for these upward bolts.

The link to cosmic rays is particularly interesting at this time. For the past two years, space weather balloons have observed a steady increase in deep space radiation penetrating our atmosphere. This increase is largely due to the decline in the solar cycle. Flagging solar wind pressure and weakening sunspot magnetic fields allow more cosmic rays into the inner solar system--a trend which is expected to continue for for years to come. These changes could add up to more Gigantic Jets in the future. Stay tuned!