Sprites Are Real?

Yes, those sprites are real. When Andrew brought this up in class the other day, I was instantly interested in what they were and how they’re formed. Sprites are these electrical discharges that occur high above thunderstorm clouds. They are triggered by the positive lightning between an underlying thundercloud and the ground. They appear as a reddish-orange color.


According to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprite_(lightning) , there are three types of sprites: jellyfish sprite, carrot sprite, and Column sprite. Recently, a man named Thomas Ashcraft has been studying these sprites with his own equipment. Every summer in the evening, around 7:00pm,  he would search for these sprites and get lucky sometimes. Depending on his skill, luck, or the weather, he would get at least one or two sprite images a night or even 300, according to New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/30/science/on-the-hunt-for-a-sprite-on-a-midsummers-night.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Ar%2C%7B%222%22%3A%22RI%3A16%22%7D&_r=0. Also, from June to August, he captured sprite on 29 of these nights, which is interesting. His location is in a dry and clear place, with a grand view of the sky over the great plains of Colorado. He usually only goes out and turns his equipment on when a thunderstorm is approaching.

These sprites are indeed real. Other studies and people have proved it to be true. A US photographer flew in a research aircraft above a storm in Colorado to take pictures of these sprites. Jason Ahrns was his name and he was onboard of the plane belonging to the National Center for Atmospheric Research, He took the images using special high speed film according to http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/10230097/Rare-sprite-lightning-caught-on-camera.html  . It also says that the existence of these rare sprite lightings was confirmed in 1989 when scientists at the University of Michigan filmed it occurring.  These two are connected because Ashcraft asked Ahrns for advice about where and how to find these sprites in Colorado.

Sprites are probably not found in cities, but who knows? Maybe they can be found in State College, right here! Studies should be formed in order to look at these sprites ourselves.

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