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sprites_strip.jpg

 

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JELLYFISH SPRITES OVER EUROPE

http://spaceweather.com/

 

On June 20th, a thunderstorm in Austria unleashed a spectacular display of lightning. Observers on the ground witnessed blinding flashes of crackling light. The most amazing aspect of the outburst, however, was to be found high above the clouds. 80 km high, to be exact, in the realm of the sprites.

 

Martin Popek photographed the display from his private observatory in Nýdek, Czechia, more than 500 km away from the storm. Such distances are ideal for seeing above the tops of towering thunderclouds.

"Jellyfish sprite events like these are produced by very impulsive cloud-to-ground lightning flashes draining positive charge from the stratiform rain region in large thunderstorms," explains lightning scientist Oscar van der Velde of the Technical University of Catalonia, Spain. Somehow, in a process that researchers only partially understand, the resulting electric fields draw jellyfish forms out of the cloudtops.

:o:huh:

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