Beauty from High Above the Heartland

nebraskasprites

Chances are you haven’t seen a lot of pictures like the one above.  That’s because this atmospheric phenomena is very difficult to see from the ground.  But while many of us were craning our necks to the stars in hopes of seeing a meteor or two, researchers captured these phenomenal pictures of Sprites in the skies over Nebraska on Sunday Night.

So what are Sprites?  They are electric discharges associated with a thunderstorm.  But they are not lightning.  They are found high ABOVE the thundercloud and are actually cold plasma.  Far different from the super-hot charge of a lightning bolt hitting the ground.  Still, these are very difficult to see.  Not only are they found above the thundercloud, but they often last just mere milliseconds, making them next to impossible to spot with the naked eye.

Fortunately this crew took with them some good camera equipment as well as some high powered video capture devices.  When it was over, the snagged several good shots, the one above was arguable our favorite.  Certainly something unique to think about, especially when we continue to strike to understand the weather and all the variables which play a role.  This is just another one of those mysteries seldom talked about, simply because it does not affect us.

Still, a beautiful picture to share with all of you.

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