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Space & Astronomy

Enigmatic 'red sprites' spotted in the sky over Chile

By T.K. Randall
August 29, 2022 · Comment icon 0 comments

This is definitely not something that you see every day. Image Credit: Zdenek Bardon / ESO
A rare and spectacular atmospheric phenomenon was recently captured on camera above the Atacama Desert.
Resembling fountains of bright red phosphorous reaching high into the heavens, red sprites are caused by large-scale electrical discharges above thunderstorm clouds.

Despite being triggered by lightning striking the ground, the sprites themselves appear high up in the atmosphere at altitudes of up to 55 miles.

This particular example of the phenomenon was captured on camera near the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) La Silla Observatory.
It appears close to the ground due to the perspective of the camera.

While red sprites have been well documented, they occur very rarely and when they do happen, they remain a fascinating and spectacular sight for anyone lucky enough to bear witness to them.

Source: Science Alert | Comments (0)

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