How Red Sprites Are Formed and What Are They Really?

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What Is the Nature of Red Sprites and How to See Them

People have long noticed the incomprehensible phenomena that occur in the upper layers of the earth’s atmosphere. And only recently scientists have paid attention to them. Pilots and cosmonauts, for example, often saw some substance, sometimes resembling living beings. But in reality, most likely, it was red sprites.

Scientists talked about electric discharges, which differ from ball and ordinary lightning 100 years ago, but only now the nature of this phenomenon can be explained at least partially.

What Lies in Nature Is This Particular Kind of Lightning

Sprites are cold plasma electrical discharges resembling lightning in the mesosphere. Red sprites are bright bunches that resemble huge ball lightning that fly at a speed equal to one-tenth of the speed of light, first vertically down and then up. They are probably the result of chemical compounds acting on atmospheric processes. Scientists suggest that because of them, the climate may change and the ozone layer will deteriorate.

Spanish scientists say that this is a real space weather phenomenon. They develop at an altitude of about 80 km. This happens when a powerful lightning attracts a lot of charge from a cloud near the earth’s surface. Electric fields “shoot” into the upper part of the atmosphere, and the result is sprites. The whole process takes about 20 milliseconds.

However, the nature of the phenomenon has not yet been fully and unequivocally understood: it requires close-up photography.

But it is obvious that the greatest probability of occurrence of this phenomenon is thunderstorm weather, so to be aware of all weather surprises, we recommend that you use free weather API on your website! 

Tags: nature, weather, physics, API, red, sprites, lighting, ball, discharge

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Pictures used in post taken from: Unsplash, Pexels


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