On Aug.14th, Thomas Ashcraft may have spotted a new kind of sprite.
He was photographing a cluster of sprites over a thunderstorm in western Oklahoma when something curved snaked up behind the main cluster. What could it be?
What was it? Experts aren’t sure.
Oscar van der Velde says it could be a troll-a type of TLE that sometimes appears underneath sprites, crawling up tendrils dangling beneath the luminous clusters. But he has never recorded such weird curving ones.
Jozsef Bo’r thinks it might be a type of gigantic jet. Gigantic jets are like sprites on steroids, more powerful and brighter. A working hypothesis is that the red sprites in the photo occurred first and deposited a cloud of positive charge above the thundercloud. A subsequent gigantic jet was itself rich in positive charge and had to bend around the positive cloud on its way up.
Walter Lyons thinks it could be something unprecedented since new features are being discovered everysince 30 years of sprite research…
Scientitsts have seen thousands of sprites, but only a few curved structures like this. So this is pretty rare.