Red Sprites 

Photographed in July-August-2017 in Fuerstenfeldbruck, Germany

Th.Boeckel 


      


Red Sprites 2107 by Th Boeckel

Composite image from two  short following Sprite events

 Sony a 6300, 4k, Sigma f1.4, 20mm, Iso 3200, exp 1/13 sec

Red Sprites 2107 by Th Boeckel

Movie

Red Sprites 2107 by Th Boeckel

Red Sprites 2107 by Th Boeckel

This Sprite could be observed with the naked eyes.


The appearance of a Red Sprites takes less than 2/100 seconds, and could be very bright and be seen with the naked eye. However, the brightness is several times under a lightning discharge. 'Red Sprites' can appear on an average altitude of 60-80 km in the mesosphere. Also sightings to a height of 90 km to the edge of the ionosphere are possible. The height of the sprite can vary from 10 km to 20 km. The width of the discharge can reach up from 40 to 60 km.

But how does the rare luminous phenomena come to this name, when they were discovered and what is the reason of origin?

Until 1989, the existence of Red Sprites was generally denied because only jet pilots announced sporadic sightings. Here they reaped rather grumpy and sarcastic reactions :-(. Thus, many sightings have been omitted. 1989 the first Red Sprite photos did succeed, but due to the not yet advanced camera technology the results were scientifically useless. 1991 the astronauts of the former Space shuttle mission succeeded photographically to capture this phenomenon specifically the first time from space. These photos served as the first meaningful evidence. Afterwards high-tech peppered research aircrafts were inserted by very costly experiments from the NASA and NOAA, which should explain and analyze these phenomena further. After this efforts yielded no results for months, and the researchers literally get messed around with this situation, the called these discharges almost mischievously 'Sprites'. Incidentally, we don’t have a plausible explanation of the origin of Red Sprites until today, but there are countless theories. Look out for the scientific article in the Washington post. The most common version declares that during heavy thunderstorms larger areas of electrical tension build itself up over the super cells, which consequently discharge due to the oversaturation by itself. The actual luminous phenomenon gets produced in the mesosphere by collision of electrons with the always present cosmic gamma radiation.


More Red Sprites info

  (Sprite link)

More Red Sprite sightings


21-24-June-2017         15-June-2017

11-July-2016    24-June-2016    6-June-2016     May 2016     August 2015

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 ©2017 photos& text by Thorsten Boeckel (tb)