Credit & Copyright: Maxime VillaeysExplanation: The sprite and tree could hardly be more different. To start, the red sprite is an unusual form of lightning, while the tree is a common plant. The sprite is far away -- high in Earth's atmosphere, while the tree is nearby -- only about a football field away. The sprite is fast -- electrons streaming up and down at near light's speed, while the tree is slow -- wood anchored to the ground. The sprite is bright -- lighting up the sky, while the tree is dim -- shining mostly by reflected light. The sprite was fleeting -- lasting only a small fraction of a second, while the tree is durable -- living now for many years. Both however, when captured together, appear oddly similar in this featured composite image captured early this month in France as a thunderstorm passed over mountains of the Atlantic Pyrenees.
Your Sky Surprise:
What picture did APOD feature on your birthday? (post 1995)
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
Publications with words: lightning
- APOD: 2023 October 2 Á Sprite Lightning in High Definition
- APOD: 2023 June 25 Á Lightning on Jupiter
- APOD: 2023 April 17 Á ELVES Lightning over Italy
- Star Trails and Lightning over the Pyrenees
- Red Sprite Lightning over the Czech Republic
- Gigantic Jet Lightning from Puerto Rico
- Lightning and Orion Beyond Uluru