Mysterious ring of light appears near the edge of space over Colorado

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On June 8th, a mysterious ring of light about 300 km wide suddenly appeared near the edge of space.

The strange sky phenomena only lasted about a millisecond, but the ring was definitely there says amateur astronomer Thomas Ashcraft.

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via SpaceWeather.com

This enormous ring is a Transient Luminous Event called ELVE (Emissions of Light and Very Low Frequency Perturbations due to Electromagnetic Pulse Sources).

This extremely rare TLE were first observed by cameras on the space shuttle in 1990.

ELVES appear appear when a pulse of electromagnetic radiation from lightning propagates up toward space and hits the base of Earth’s ionosphere. A faint ring of light marks the broad ‘spot’ where the EMP hits.

ELVES often appear alongside red sprites as shown in the video of Ashcraft:

Were you able to see the cluster of sprites leaping straight up through the middle of the donut?

Learn more about Transient Luminous Event here.

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