Jellyfish Sprite Photo, Rare Atmospheric Phenomenon in Sky: Fact Check


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Image of Jellyfish Sprite Photo, Rare Atmospheric Phenomenon in Sky
Jellyfish Sprite Photo, Rare Atmospheric Phenomenon in Sky

Story:

This Jellyfish-shaped show is actually a rare atmospheric phenomenon, a kind of lightning bolt in Sky called Jellyfish Sprite.

Other Versions

Rare: Jellyfish shaped ‘sprites’ captured in the night sky over Texas.

Fact Check:

A fascinating photograph is in circulation alleging to show a rare atmospheric phenomenon caused by lightning bolt called Jellyfish Sprite. It looked like an alien spirit in nature, so many viewers thought the sighting is not real. Although unbelievable, the photograph shows real, Jellyfish shaped ‘sprites’ captured in the night sky over Texas.

About the Jellyfish Sprite Phenomenon in Sky

What you see is in fact a spectacular image showing electrical tentacles of red jellyfish sprite lightning in the skies above Texas. On 2nd July 2020, dark skies specialist Stephen Hummel of the University of Texas at Austin captured the rare formation at the McDonald Observatory, from a ridge on Mount Locke.

The bright flashes are in fact a form of cold plasma electrical discharges occurring at an altitude of 50 to 100 kilometers. They are usually triggered by the discharges of positive lightning between an underlying thundercloud and the ground. The tentacle-like spurts of red lightning are called Sprites and they typically appear in groups. To clarify, they only appear very briefly in tenths of a second.

The color and shape of the flares depends on the altitude at which the sprites occur – due to the difference in pressure and composition of the atmosphere. Some sprites appear in the shape of a jellyfish and are indeed gigantic in size. Some also occur in vertical columns of red light with tendrils wriggling downward, called Carrot Sprites.

Rare Sighting

The sighting is in fact rare and hard to see from ground because storm clouds usually obscure the Sprites. Physicists from the University of Minnesota recorded the phenomenon accidentally for the first time in 1989 while testing a new sensitive camera. In September 2015, ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen filmed similar phenomenon over India from the International Space Station’s Cupola observatory. He then mentioned Blue Jets along with the Red Sprites. If you still do not believe, video below shows some such wonderful natural occurrences of bright Jellyfish Red Sprites near Eastern Colorado.

Hoax or Fact:

Fact.

References:

A spectacular image reveals the electrical tentacles of red jellyfish sprite lightning in the skies above Texas
Sprite jellyfish: magical photo of lightning over Texas


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