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Sprites and Jets

Posted by Edward Colon
Grade level: grad
School: Howard University
City: Washington, D.C. State/Province: No state given.
Country: USA
Area of science: Earth Sciences


I have been fascinated by images obtained from the space shuttle of luminous phenomena which occur above violent thunderstorms at altitudes ranging from 60-120 km. They take two predominant forms: (1) well defined amorphous globs (sprites) and (2) funneled high velocity ejections (jets). What is the most promising theory which explains their origins and phenomenology?

Although I usually answer astronomy questions, I saw yours and happened to know what you need. There is a GREAT site with loads of info on red sprites, blue jets and the like. The site is located here, and is maintained by folks that study this phenomenon. Hope this helps!

©2008 Phil Plait. All Rights Reserved.

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