The very low frequency radio crackles from individual Sprites

Listen to the very low frequency radio crackles from individual Sprites!

They were recorded on May 23, 2015, when strong thunderstorms raked Texas and Oklahoma, producing torrential rains and deadly floods.

During these extreme storms, not all of the lightning bolts were going down.

There was a bright display of sprites shooting up from the tops of the thunderclouds:

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Helio Town

Sprites are an exotic form of lightning that appear very high above Earth’s surface, at the edge of space itself. A true space weather phenomenon!

As shown in this graphic, they develop in mid-air around 80 km altitude, growing in both directions, first down, then up.

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Helio Town

This happens when a fierce lightning bolt draws lots of charge from a cloud near Earth’s surface. Electric fields [shoot] to the top of Earth’s atmosphere, and the result is a sprite.

Turn up the volume and listen to the very low frequency radio crackles from individual lightning strokes in this video:

Triple Sprite Event Over Oklahoma May 23 2015 (May 24 2015 UTC) with ELF-VLF Radio Emissions from Thomas Ashcraft on Vimeo.

Although sprites have been seen for at least a century, most scientists did not believe they existed until after 1989 when sprites were photographed by cameras onboard the space shuttle.

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