Posts Tagged ‘Sprites’

08/27/2015 – Ephemeris – Thunderstorms can produce sprites pointing upward

August 27, 2015 2 comments

Ephemeris for Thursday, August 27th.  The Sun will rise at 6:59.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 29 minutes, setting at 8:28.   The Moon, 2 days before full, will set at 5:32 tomorrow morning.

Thunderstorms are dangerous, as we experienced with the destruction our area experienced with the August 2nd storm.  But beside the lightning, wind, rain, hail and tornadoes thunderstorms also can produce sprites which appear to be electrical discharges extending above the tops of the clouds up to 56 miles.  While reported as far back as 1886, they were finally photographed in 1989.  They have been photographed many times since from the ground, aircraft and the International Space Station.  The images of them that I’ve seen appear to be red in color.  However there’s also Blue Jets, Blue Starters, Gigantic Jets and ELVES.  Wikipedia describes their appearance, but there appears to be little understanding of them.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.



Photograph of Sprites over a Thunderstorm from the International Space Station. NASA/ISS edited by Bob Moler.