Sprites are large electrical discharges that occur above thunderstorms. They resemble reddish-orange jellyfish with bluish tentacles streaming down. But while sprites require thunderstorms, not all thunderstorms produce sprites.
The new study found that irregularities in the plasma in the ionosphere – the layer about 37 to 56 miles (60 to 90 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface – are responsible for the formation of these ghost-like flashes in the sky.
Several sources could be causing these irregularities in the plasma like the existence of a previous sprite, and meteors.
Here a high speed sprite video: