Red Sprite...it's lightning...not a soft drink - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Red Sprite...it's lightning...not a soft drink

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Photo Courtesy: Jason Ahrns Photo Courtesy: Jason Ahrns
Photo Courtesy: NASA Photo Courtesy: NASA
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

We've all seen lighting coming from the bottom of storms, but do you ever wonder what happens on the top of storms. That's where scientists now believe the elusive "Red Sprite" lightning is found. Described as red clusters with jellyfish-like tendrils that can stretch up to 60 miles above the Earth's surface, they form quickly when a rare positive bolt of lightning punches through the top of a thunderstorm into negatively charged air. Although they last less than a second scientists believe red sprites may have an effect on the weather and climate here on Earth. Confirmed a "Real" phenomena in 1989, Scientists have only been able to photograph red sprites from jets at high altitudes and using special high speed cameras.

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