Friday, August 16, 2013

Now for real Sprites.

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.


Elephant's Child said...

Aren't they amazing!

River said...

I'd never heard of sprites before you wrote about them, they are pretty amazing. I'll check out Leaflitter.

Jayne said...

Oooo, they are so lovely, and perfectly named :)

JahTeh said...

EC, it makes me wonder just how much is still out there waiting to be discovered. Sprites were only seen after we had high flying aircraft.

River, I am such a terrible photographer I wouldn't get a shot of anything let alone something as fast as this.

Jayne, I blogged a great poster of the different types of lightning including sprites and blue jets. I had no idea every lightning has its own name and there are so many variations. Couldn't tell you when I blogged it, can't remember my own name at the moment.