Sprite electrical storm, artwork

Sprite electrical storm, artwork

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Credit: MIKKEL JUUL JENSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Red sprite electrical storm, artwork. Observer (left) watching a red sprite (right) that has formed above a thunderstorm. Red sprites are faint optical effects caused by the effects of the lightning in the storm below. They can rise to heights of 97 kilometres, reaching the bottom of the ionosphere and the edge of space. They last only for a few thousandths of a second, and are only visible under the right conditions. The observer's eyes must be adapted to the dark, and a dark background is also needed. A similar phenomenon, called blue jets, has also been observed emerging from the tops of thunderstorms.

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