A rare and elusive weather phenomenon has been captured by a photographer, and you will be shocked by its beauty. A photographer took some shots of an elusive and rare weather phenomenon last weekend in the central United States while the region was being attacked by severe thunderstorms sweeping across it.
When lightning occurs, we usually see it strike the ground, or it either dances through the clouds of a thunderstorm, but a certain type of lightning bolt can extend well above the thunderstorm itself if the conditions are right for this. The name of such lightning is “sprite.”
According to the University of Washington, the sprites have a red color whose cause is believed to be the interaction between nitrogen and the sprites in the atmosphere. This is why this phenomenon is also known as red sprites.
Rare Weather Phenomenon Captured On Image By A Photographer
“Red sprites are short-lived, red flashes that occur about 80 kilometers (50 miles) up in the atmosphere. With long, vertical tendrils like a jellyfish, these electrical discharges can extend 20 to 30 kilometers up into the atmosphere and are connected to thunderstorms and lightning,” NASA reported.
To get a better understanding of this interesting event, think of a commercial jet fly that travels at an altitude of around 7 or 8 miles, just a fraction of the altitude of where sprites occur in the atmosphere.
Paul Smith, a nature photographer, was able to capture this rare weather phenomenon in its whole beauty not once, but two times over the past week as over the central U.S. severe thunderstorms rumbled. Since 2015, Smith has been in a continuous specialization in night photography, capturing breathtaking images of thunderstorms at night, auroras, and red sprites.
Even though compared to typical lightning bolts sprites are significantly larger and brighter, they are rarely seen by people and their cameras.