Upper atmospheric lightnings : a new kind of sprite spotted over a thunderstorm in western Oklahoma

ashcraft_strip

Barely 30 years ago, many researchers did not believe that upper atmospheric lightning existed—until 1989 when researchers from the University of Minnesota captured them on video tape. Now there is a menagerie of accepted forms: sprites, elves, gigantic jets, gnomes. These “transient luminous events” (TLEs) appear above thunderclouds, reaching toward space rather than lancing down to the ground like regular lightning.

On Aug.14th, Thomas Ashcraft may have spotted a new kind of sprite. “I was photographing a cluster of sprites over a thunderstorm in western Oklahoma when something curved snaked up behind the main cluster.” This frame from his video of the event shows the strange form

TO BE CONTINUED ON
http://www.spaceweather.com/

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