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Posted
  • Location: Near Hull
  • Weather Preferences: Severe storms and heavy snow
  • Location: Near Hull

I saw a tv program a few years ago about storms and it talked about somthing called a sprite. They appear above severe storms and and seemed to be linked with positive cg lightning bolts. Just wonderd if anyones ever seen them or anything similar. you would have needed clear conditions to see them but the streach up into the earths Ionoshere and they last a millisecond.

Edited by john2006
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Posted
  • Location: Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England. 108.7m ASL
  • Location: Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England. 108.7m ASL

I have seen a few programs about this phenomena on the discovery and national geographic channels. There are more than one type of sprite too along with another more powerful upper level discharge called a blue jet or blue streak. Mot of these have been witnessed by astronauts and from the video footage on shuttle missions and more recently the international space station. They can be witnessed from ground level aswell, but most are to quick to be visable by the naked eye. A guy in the US who works somewhere west of the great plains videos and photographs severe storms from hundreds of miles away and has seen lots of these incredible bolts.

Snowjoke.

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Posted
  • Location: Near Hull
  • Weather Preferences: Severe storms and heavy snow
  • Location: Near Hull

Not too sure about the x-rays but ive heard that sprites are joined with positive lightning which may be 6 times more powerful than normal lightning and can bring down planes. There's probably still high atmosphere lightning we dont know about. Some people belive it could have caused the shuttle to break up in 2003 after some one took a photo which showed a bolt in the trail seconds before it broke up.

This is the best image i could find.

http://www.plasmacosmology.net/images/columbia.jpg

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  • 1 month later...
Posted
  • Location: Cheslyn Hay, South Staffordshire. UK 159mtrs ASL
  • Location: Cheslyn Hay, South Staffordshire. UK 159mtrs ASL

A very good Blog here with some recent sprite images:

http://eurosprite.blogspot.com/

Edited by LeeKay
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Posted
  • Location: Abbeymead ,Glos Member Since: July 16, 2003
  • Weather Preferences: Hot and thundery or Cold and snowy.
  • Location: Abbeymead ,Glos Member Since: July 16, 2003
Is it true that such plasmatic phenomena emit huge amounts of x-rays into the stratosphere?

Doesnt any form of high energy discharge emit xrays?

Not sure, but swear i head summat like that b4.

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Posted
  • Location: The Wash - Norfolk side
  • Weather Preferences: Storms storms and more storms
  • Location: The Wash - Norfolk side

Sprites were only discovered in 1989 and it wasn't until 1994 that the official name of "sprites" was fully adopted by the scientific community. Since then researchers have identified two other types of electrical discharge above thunderstorms. They've called these "elves" and "blue jets". Elves arn't visible to the naked eye as they last less than one thousandth of a second but they appear just like sprites at the same time as positive cg lightening. They are shaped like giant expanding donuts and form 60-65 miles up and can be up to several hundred feet in diameter. If they were longer-lived and visible it is thought they would be red. They have identified the elves and blue jets by utilising camera on the space shuttle as well as aeroplanes. Wouldn't it be amazing if we could see elves. Apparently the blue jets are visible and spurt upwards from the top of cumulonimbus clouds at a speed of 100 miles per second. All that is currently known about these is that they form above storms which have very high rates of lightening, but not necessarily cg.

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  • 1 month later...
Posted
  • Location: Shrewsbury,Shropshire
  • Location: Shrewsbury,Shropshire
Doesnt any form of high energy discharge emit xrays?

Not sure, but swear i head summat like that b4.

Think you may be right there-a CRT if cranked (A1 usually 25K volts) up can emmit x rays.

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Posted
  • Location: The Wash - Norfolk side
  • Weather Preferences: Storms storms and more storms
  • Location: The Wash - Norfolk side
sprites are the most beautiful form of lightning i have ever seen(in pics anyway).

Aren't they just! I have only seen pictures but would love to see it for real.

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