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ESA Human Spaceflight and Exploration

The sprite before Christmas

18 Dec 2019, 15:31 UTC
The sprite before Christmas ESA

Someone decked the skies with boughs of sprites.

The red jellyfish in the sky is a unique red sprite high above a storm across the southern plains of the United States.

Taken in the early hours of 21 October by outdoor photographer Paul Smith, red sprites, along with blue jets and elves, are elusive electrical discharges in the upper atmosphere that are difficult to study as they occur over thunderstorms and propagate out into space.

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