I blogged about Sprite lightning recently which was a fluke photo taken from ground level during a thunderstorm, now here's the real deal taken from the National Centre for Atmospheric Research's Gulfstream-V plane.
Jason Ahrns got up close and personal with these red sprites over Red Willow County in Nebraska and told a reporter:
"I've seen sprites with my naked eye for the first time, and they're really tall! I've seen pictures and watched them in video monitors during the research campaigns, and in my mind I knew they were on the order of 50km from top to bottom, but knowing it and seeing it for yourself are two different things," he told us via email. "When we're flying 120 miles away from the storm and the sprite is still tall enough to fill my vision from top to bottom, that leaves an impression!"
Sprites can reach 50 to 60 miles into space and penetrate downward into the middle of the stratosphere (25-20 miles high) with jellyfish-like tendrils and they last only seconds so good for Jason Ahrns who not only photographed these sprites but managed to videotape them as well.
He also has a blog called Leaflitter with photographs if you're interested.