Sprites on a video clip

3 Oct 2010

At NASA's Space Weather.com (see link at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/02/watching-lightning-jets-hit-the-atmosphere/ ) there is a video clip of huge lightning discharges that are striking the ionosphere from thunderstorms below. It says that gigantic jets of lightning play an unknown role in the global flow of electricity around the planet. This is cutting edge science at the moment and amateur astronomers are being asked to contribute. 

A commenter chips in - this is just one category of Transient Luminous Events (TLEs) and there are others, such as red sprites, blue jets, elves, blue starters, upward lightning, sprite halos, trolls, gnomes, pixies, and gigantic jets. Pilots have been reporting such phenomena for years but scientists have until now scoffed at the suggestion (see www.scribd.com/doc/14143933/Upper-Atmosphere-Lightning-Red-Sprites-Blue-Jets-and-Elves/) It seems the global rate of TLEs has been estimated to be several million events in a year yet scientists are only now starting to wake up. What else has been brushed under the carpet?

Note ... another commenters says, check out red sprites and blue jets at www.thunderbolts.info and another one suggests looking at ionospheric plasma at www.vukcevik.talktalk.net/LFC20.htm .

Another commenter disputes the Wikipedia entry on elves which claimed they were reddish/ blue. He insisted they were purple - in spite of the colour mix being a combination of red and blue. And so on. The comments are as interesting as the video clip itself.