Amateur Astronomer Captures Space Lightning Over Oklahoma


Thursday, May 26th 2016, 5:03 pm
By: News On 6


An amateur astronomer in New Mexico captured space lightning over Oklahoma this week.

On May 23, 2016, Thomas Ashcraft got images of an enormous cluster of sprites also known as space lightning, according to Spaceweather.com

Ashcraft believes he also might have captured a pop-through gigantic jet.

Ashcraft posted a video of the event with the radio emissions he recorded as a soundtrack. If you turn up the volume as  you play the video you can hear the sprites:

To explain what a pop-through gigantic jet is, Spaceweather.com quotes lightning scientist Oscar van der Velde of the Technical University of Catalonia: "A cluster of sprites can actually warp Earth's ionosphere, bringing it down from its usual altitude of 90 km to only 40 km."

"The sprite cluster triggers an upward-directed discharge which in the past received fancy names as 'troll' or 'palm tree'," says van der Velde.

Spaceweather.com says sprites have been seen for at least a century, but in 1989 cameras onboard the space shuttle recorded, finally convincing skeptics of their existence.