Another red sprite storm in action! Red sprites are electrical bursts of light above highly active thunderstorms. They appear red at higher altitudes and fade to blue at lower heights. One lucky space photographer captured the phenomenon about 6 times on May 5, 2018 and an amazing 48 times in addition to other transient luminous events in just one hour on May 2, 2018 over Craotia (see video below).
Sprawled out in the sky intermittently appears a spectacular series of bright red, jellyfish-shaped clusters of light, an extraordinary weather occurrence known as a ‘red sprite’.
The mysterious electrical bursts occur over highly active thunderstorms around 37 to 56 miles (50 to 60 kilometres) above Earth, and are rarely observed from land or space, due to their high altitudes and millisecond durations.
They show up red at higher altitudes and fade to blue at lower heights.
Atmospheric sprites have been known for nearly a century, but their origins were a mystery. They only last a few milliseconds and are relatively dim compared with other lightning.
The thunderstorm over Slovenia, northern Croatia and southern Hungary on May 2, 2018, created 48 red sprites among other transient luminous events (TLEs) in just one hour (18: 57 – 20:05 UTC). Here’s a short video of all TLEs:
The late experimental physicist John Winckler accidentally discovered sprites, while helping to test a new low-light video camera in 1989.
The stunning sight was captured not only once, but a staggering six times By Martin Popek:
Pictures of this amazing sky phenomenon were taken by Martin Popek. It is indeed unusual to observe so many bursts at once. It must have been some really large electric storms. For those interested, here another round of epic sprites over Poland back in 2015. OMG!
I’ve always been interested in unusual weather and uncommon natural phenomenon. What about you?