Log In

Not a Coast Insider Member? Sign up

 
0 SHARE ON
Live Nightly 1am - 5am EST / 10pm - 2am PST
Advertisement

What Is It?! Astronaut Captures Mysterious Red Light

What Is It?! Astronaut Captures Mysterious Red Light

Orbiting high above Earth in the International Space Station, astronaut Scott Kelly photographed a bizarre phenomenon while soaring over Central America. On the right is a red mass hovering above a blue and white thunderstorm [close-up in inset].

Purple tendrils plume from the storm toward the baffling red flash. Upon closer examination, the scarlet flash was determined to be a giant red sprite produced by the thunderstorm. So-called red sprites (first photographed in 1989) typically appear as branching red tendrils stretching above the region of a powerful lightning flash. The electrical discharges can reach as high as 55 miles into the upper atmosphere at high altitudes.

Although common, sprites are a rarely captured from either the Earth or space because the flash lasts mere milliseconds.For further details and photos, visit Discovery.com.

More Articles

Advertisement