Astronaut Captures Stunning Images Of Rare Thunder Phenomenon


Astronaut Captures Stunning Images Of Rare Thunder Phenomenon

Andreas Mogensen managed to capture this picture of a red sprite in October 2023.

In a unique glimpse from space, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andreas Mogensen has captured a stunning image of a red sprite, a rare electrical discharge rarely visible from Earth.

Mr Mogensen, as part of the Thor-Davis experiment, dedicates each Saturday to photographing storms from the vantage point of the International Space Station’s Cupola observatory.

This dedication has paid off, resulting in the first image released by the experiment depicting a Transient Luminous Event (TLE), a red sprite located between 40 and 80 kilometers above Earth. This remarkable capture offers scientists valuable insights into these elusive phenomena and their potential impact on the upper atmosphere.

“Beyond the clouds is a fascinating world. What you see here is a picture of a red sprite over a thunder cloud that I took as part of the Thor-Davis experiment from Danish Technical University (DTUSpace),” he wrote in the caption of the post where he shared the images, as he posted the photos of the phenomena on X (formerly Twitter).

“Red sprites are part of the rare phenomenon known as Transient Luminous Events, often shortened TLEs, that can appear over thunder clouds. The red sprites form around 40 to 80 km above ground, and as you can see in the video from the Davis camera, the red sprites appear after the thunder has struck and much higher up,” he explained in the post.

“The Davis camera is special in that it does not take a picture like a regular camera, but like the retina in our eyes that is sensitive to changes in light, allowing it to take up to the equivalent of 100.000 pictures per second. This brings back memories of the blue jet I caught on camera on my first mission in 2015.”


Mohd Aman

Editor in Chief Approved by Indian Government

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