Thursday, May 23, 2013

Fast and big.

About 25 years ago this form of lightning called a red sprite was usually only seen by planes flying above storm clouds.
They're believed to start as 100 metre balls of ionized air shooting down from about 80 km high at 10 percent the speed of light followed by a group of upward streaking ionized balls.
This image taken during the week above central South Dakota, USA, captured a bright red sprite against the streaks of an aurora. It also showed the storm clouds crossing the bottom of the image which was photographed by Walter Lyons (FMA Research).

Red sprites take only a fraction of a second to occur and best seen when powerful thunderstorms are visible from the side.
The poster below shows the different types of lightning including red and blue sprites.


Elephant's Child said...

What an incredible world we live in. Often so very beautiful (albeit frightening). Thank you so much for continuing my education.

Brian Hughes said...

There's a certain dragony look about it.

River said...

I like lightning in all its forms, but I hadn't known about the sprite types. They're certainly pretty.

Ann ODyne said...

Sprites? No doubt Bwca will land here any minute to bitch about them being pushy.

Davoh said...

Just popping in t let ya know am still alive.

Yes, the universe and all it's galaxies are, indeed, wondrous.

JahTeh said...

EC, how lucky was he to get that shot though and from the ground. When we have an electrical storm over the bay I always stand at the back door for a good look.

Milord, worthy of a poem? The wind in Fleetwood would just blow a sprite to Kingdom come.

River, I love lightning but after the last couple of days I've gone right off storm chasing. That was one massive tornado.

Annie O, saw the temperature in the 'Rat this morning so the sprites will be looking for something more warm. Coldest morning in a year in Melbourne so the cat told me as I extracted him from the mohair rug, my mohair rug.

Davoh, welcome back. You're in a good place to see the next comet coming our way.