fleeting red sprite 300 kilometers away. Red sprites are recently discovered and still poorly understood optical flashes seen dancing at altitudes of 30 to 90 kilometers above thunderstorms. Cousins to lightning bolts, red sprites occur near the edge of the atmosphere and have been glimpsed by astronauts from orbit. What ever their cause, the red sprite flashes usually last only tenths to hundredths of a second and characteristically take on shapes which researchers describe as columns, fingers, trees, or carrots.
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.
Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Publications with keywords: lightning - sprites
Publications with words: lightning - sprites