Thursday, August 8, 2013

Watch sprite lightning flash at 10,000 frames per second

Watch sprite lightning flash at 10,000 frames per second 

Red sprite lightning is both mysterious and intriguing: sprites occur only at high altitudes above thunderstorms, only last for a thousandth of a second, and emit light in the red portion of the visible spectrum. Therefore, studying sprites has been notoriously difficult for atmospheric scientists.

Elusive sprite lightning captured from an airplane above Boulder, Colorado as part of a sprite observing campaign. Credit and copyright: Jason Ahrns.

Astrophotographer Jason Ahrns has had the chance to be part of a sprite-observing campaign, and with a special airplane from the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s Research Aircraft Facility in Boulder, Colorado, has been on flights to try and observe red sprite lightning from the air.
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