APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by APOD Robot » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:05 am

Image Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras

Explanation: What are those red streaks in the sky? While photographing unexpected auroras over a distant thunderstorm, something extraordinary happened: red sprites. This brief instance of rarely imaged high-altitude lightning flashed so bright that it was witnessed by several people independently. Pictured over Minnesota, USA in May 2013, these red sprites likely followed an extremely powerful low-altitude conventional lightning bolt. Captured in the featured frame are a house and electrical pole in the foreground, thick clouds in the lower atmosphere, a lightning storm on the horizon, distant red sprites and green aurora in the upper atmosphere, and distant stars from our local neighborhood of the Milky Way Galaxy. The spectacular image is thought to be only the second known case of sprites and auroras photographed together, and possibly the first in true color.

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Re: APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by Guest » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:23 am

AMAZING!

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Re: APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by madtom1999 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:38 am

Is there any research on sprites published anywhere? I know there is a possibly similar effect over fault lines that gives rise to lights in the sky (and much ufo chatter) and I believe the mechanism to be similar:
If you send a pulse of current down a length of wire (ground/sky) then you generate an large magnetic pulse which will be partially repeated at each end in an ever declining chain of sine waves, any of which can cause further discharge, in the case of sprites it just allows a cascade over some existing voltage differential.

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Re: APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by starsurfer » Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:24 am

Another fantastic image of something that is rarely seen or understood! APOD is brilliant!

Dr Joe S

Re: APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by Dr Joe S » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:47 pm

Outstanding! Once again, APOD delivers. :)

Mikado

Re: APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by Mikado » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:01 pm

That isn't, and never was a house.

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Re: APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:11 pm

Mikado wrote:That isn't, and never was a house.
What, your house doesn't have a hayloft, or a grain conveyor for stocking your pantry?
Chris

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Re: APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by JohnD » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:44 pm

As mentioned in the blurb, Sprites were thought to occur above conventional lightning. I presume that the illuminated clouds on the right horizon are throwing lightning - they look like thunder heads - but they must be miles away from the sprite, with clear air down to ground level below them.

Surely this questions all theories that connect lightning with sprites?
John

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Re: APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by BMAONE23 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:51 pm

JohnD wrote:As mentioned in the blurb, Sprites were thought to occur above conventional lightning. I presume that the illuminated clouds on the right horizon are throwing lightning - they look like thunder heads - but they must be miles away from the sprite, with clear air down to ground level below them.

Surely this questions all theories that connect lightning with sprites?
John
Red Sprites occur at an altitude of between 40 & 90 Kilometers above the lightning source so in this particular case the lightning storm is likely over the horizon and not in view

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Re: APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:57 pm

JohnD wrote:As mentioned in the blurb, Sprites were thought to occur above conventional lightning. I presume that the illuminated clouds on the right horizon are throwing lightning - they look like thunder heads - but they must be miles away from the sprite, with clear air down to ground level below them.

Surely this questions all theories that connect lightning with sprites?
Not at all. The sprites are not associated with the thunderstorm seen towards the right. Sprites are so high that the lightning that they are associated with is usually below the horizon. I record sprites on my meteor cameras that are over storms 200-300 miles away- far too low to see the lightning at all. I can only associate them with particular storm systems by looking at radar maps.

The association between sprites and lower level lightning is clearly established, and the mechanisms of formation generally understood (although there remain many details about both sprites and lightning that are not well understood).
Chris

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Re: APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by FloridaMike » Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:00 pm

NOVA did a show covering sprites last year http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/earth/edge-of-space.html
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Re: APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by JohnD » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:46 pm

Thank you BMA1 & Chris!
I am more educated!
John

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Re: APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by Boomer12k » Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:33 pm

Stars, Sprites, Clouds, and Auroras.... OH MY!! :D

What a wonderful and RARE shot....

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Re: APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by Boomer12k » Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:35 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Mikado wrote:That isn't, and never was a house.
What, your house doesn't have a hayloft, or a grain conveyor for stocking your pantry?
CONVEYOR!!!! That was the word I was looking for....Thanks!!! :lol2:

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Re: APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by Beyond » Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:26 am

Chris Peterson wrote: ...pantry?
I haven't seen a pantry in about 35 years.
To find the Truth, you must go Beyond.

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Re: APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by JohnD » Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:59 am

"There isn't or never was a house", conveyors, haylofts, stocking the pantry.

Either a post/posts have been deleted or the board has an outbreak of Absurd Surrealism.
JOhn

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Re: APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by geckzilla » Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:04 am

JohnD wrote:"There isn't or never was a house", conveyors, haylofts, stocking the pantry.

Either a post/posts have been deleted or the board has an outbreak of Absurd Surrealism.
JOhn
Not sure what you mean. Post haven't been deleted.
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Re: APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by JohnD » Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:37 am

Then it must be Abstract Surrealism.

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Re: APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by bystander » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:24 pm

Maybe what you are missing is this ...
APOD Robot wrote: ...
Captured in the featured frame are a house and electrical pole in the foreground, ...
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

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Re: APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by JohnD » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:53 pm

Well, WOW! and Golly Gosh!
If I had seen that link, I would have read how far away that sprite was.

Still don't understand why "there was no house" but that young man with a camera had a dozen pictures, of auroras that could have made the APOD, evben without the Sprite pic
There really are some Big Skys in Minnesota!
Here on the west coast of the UK, the only Big Sky is to our West. We get sunsets this time of year where the sun is setting over the sea and lighting up the underside of the cloud over us that is a dramatic sight. I'll try for a photo next time.
JOhn

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Re: APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:26 pm

JohnD wrote:Still don't understand why "there was no house" ...
Because the structure is a barn.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Stars, Sprites, Clouds, Auroras (2015 Feb 04)

Post by Mikado » Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:28 pm

JohnD wrote:Still don't understand why "there was no house" ....
This thread is going on absurdly long. My original comment simply stated that the structure on the left is not a house and never has been. It is presently being used to store grain and the red conveyor (also known as an auger) is used to move the grain from there to a truck. Wasn't raised on a farm for nothing.