APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
User avatar
APOD Robot
Otto Posterman
Posts: 4471
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:27 am

APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by APOD Robot » Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:12 am

Image Gigantic Jet Lightning over China

Explanation: That's no meteor. While watching and photographing this year's Perseid Meteor Shower, something unexpected happened: a gigantic jet erupted from a nearby cloud. The whole thing was over in a flash -- it lasted less than a second -- but was fortunately captured by an already-recording digital camera. Gigantic jets are a rare form of lightning recognized formally only a few years ago. The featured high resolution color image, taken near the peak of Shikengkong mountain in China, may be the best image yet of this unusual phenomena. The same event appears to have been captured simultaneously by another photographer, further away. The gigantic jet appears to start somewhere in a nearby thundercloud and extend upwards towards Earth's ionosphere. The nature of gigantic jets and their possible association with other types of Transient Luminous Events (TLEs) such as blue jets and red sprites remains an active topic of research.

<< Previous APOD This Day in APOD Next APOD >>
[/b]

AlvinWu
Ensign
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:30 pm

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by AlvinWu » Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:37 am

Congratulation to Pan!

Matt Minde
Asternaut
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:06 am

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by Matt Minde » Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:18 am

What an incredible photo — at the intersection of luck and technology! This shot (frame?) couldn't have been possible without cameras that can continuously shoot 30fps of high-def video, at ISO in the thousands or tens of thousands, onto gigabytes of storage, driven by long-lasting Li-Ion batteries, and all relatively affordable!

madtom1999
Ensign
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:21 am

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by madtom1999 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:14 am

Is the dotted streak (bottom left by the cloud top) a satellite or a spinning perseid?

User avatar
geckzilla
Ocular Digitator
Posts: 9158
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Location: Modesto, CA

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by geckzilla » Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:25 am

madtom1999 wrote:Is the dotted streak (bottom left by the cloud top) a satellite or a spinning perseid?
Just an airplane.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

Rusty Brown in Cda

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by Rusty Brown in Cda » Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:01 am

"...the best image yet of this unusual phenomena..."
It's a phenomenon! There's only one of them, not several.

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 18546
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by neufer » Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:03 am

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper-atmospheric_lightning#Gigantic_jets wrote:

<<On September 14, 2001, scientists at the Arecibo Observatory photographed a gigantic jet—double the height of those previously observed—reaching around 70 km into the atmosphere. The jet was located above a thunderstorm over an ocean, and lasted under a second. On July 22, 2002, five gigantic jets between 60 and 70 km in length were observed over the South China Sea from Taiwan, reported in Nature. The jets lasted under a second, with shapes likened by the researchers to giant trees and carrots.

The Chinese Science Bulletin reported a gigantic jet event observed over a thunderstorm in mainland China on August 12, 2010. "GJ event that was clearly recorded in eastern China (storm center located at 35.6°N,119.8°E, near the Huanghai Sea)".

On August 13, 2016, photographer Phebe Pan caught a spectacularly clear wide-angle photo of a gigantic jet on a wide-angle lens while shooting Perseid meteors atop Shi Keng Kong peak in Guangdong province.>>
  • Are Perseid meteor showers seeding the Mesosphere to cause normal blue
    jets to reach into the middle of the Mesosphere as gigantic red jets?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perseids wrote:
<<While many [Perseids] arrive between dawn and noon, they are usually not visible due to daylight. Some can also be seen before midnight, often grazing the Earth’s atmosphere to produce long bright trails and sometimes fireballs. Most Perseids burn up in the atmosphere while at heights above 80 kilometres.>>
Art Neuendorffer

JCG

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by JCG » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:33 pm

When you say, "...this phenomena..." could you make it phenomenon? (Yeah, I know, I'm That Guy.)

User avatar
geckzilla
Ocular Digitator
Posts: 9158
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Location: Modesto, CA

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by geckzilla » Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:13 pm

Rusty Brown in Cda wrote:"...the best image yet of this unusual phenomena..."
It's a phenomenon! There's only one of them, not several.
JCG wrote:When you say, "...this phenomena..." could you make it phenomenon? (Yeah, I know, I'm That Guy.)
A venial mistake. Hopefully not one to lucubrate over or detract from the auriferously wonderful photo. To some, it may stultify the learning objective, though.

(I do so enjoy dictionary.com's Word of the Day.)
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

Guest

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by Guest » Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:29 pm

geckzilla wrote:
madtom1999 wrote:Is the dotted streak (bottom left by the cloud top) a satellite or a spinning perseid?
Just an airplane.
Hum, if that is an airplane then how fast do you think it must be going, considering this is a single frame.

We are talking the streak just above the camera on the left side of the frame.

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 16205
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:56 pm

Matt Minde wrote:What an incredible photo — at the intersection of luck and technology! This shot (frame?) couldn't have been possible without cameras that can continuously shoot 30fps of high-def video, at ISO in the thousands or tens of thousands, onto gigabytes of storage, driven by long-lasting Li-Ion batteries, and all relatively affordable!
Well, only some of that is true. Camera ISO is largely meaningless. What matters is the quantum efficiency of the sensor- the percentage of photons that it actually records. This is very good for modern sensors- often over 50% (and approaching 100% for scientific sensors). Also important is sensor noise, which is an important factor in dynamic range. And this image is not a video frame, but rather a single 10-second exposure.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
Fred the Cat
Theoretic Apothekitty
Posts: 749
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:09 pm
AKA: Ron
Location: Eagle, Idaho

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by Fred the Cat » Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:01 pm

geckzilla wrote:
Rusty Brown in Cda wrote:"...the best image yet of this unusual phenomena..."
It's a phenomenon! There's only one of them, not several.
JCG wrote:When you say, "...this phenomena..." could you make it phenomenon? (Yeah, I know, I'm That Guy.)
A venial mistake. Hopefully not one to lucubrate over or detract from the auriferously wonderful photo. To some, it may stultify the learning objective, though.

(I do so enjoy dictionary.com's Word of the Day.)
For that fine oratory, on any Elysian Field, your medal would be auriferous but on APOD it's the pellucid award we revere! Would the word in Dutch "onnavolgbaar" describe today's image?
Freddy's Felicity "Only ascertain as a cat box survivor"

User avatar
RJN
Baffled Boffin
Posts: 1610
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 1:58 pm
Location: Michigan Tech

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by RJN » Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:27 pm

JCG wrote:When you say, "...this phenomena..." could you make it phenomenon? (Yeah, I know, I'm That Guy.)
OK. Fixed it on the main NASA APOD. Thanks! - RJN

Steve Dutch

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by Steve Dutch » Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:33 pm

This is the best one yet. Jets and sprites were long considered folklore, although persistent reports from military pilots suggested there was a real phenomenon involved. The problem is they're so sudden they're virtually impossible to photograph. We finally got a few pictures that showed there was really something happening, but even so there was little to go on. Now, with the proliferation of digital photography, we can finally document them well. This is by far the most detailed image I've ever seen.

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 11634
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by Ann » Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:50 pm

I'd love to know what causes the colors.

This jet lightning is purple to violet near bottom and red at top. Could this be related to blue jets and red sprites, in that the blue jets are lower than the red sprites? Could both these phenomena (or related ones) be seen at different levels of one huge jet?

Ann
Color Commentator

User avatar
Fred the Cat
Theoretic Apothekitty
Posts: 749
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:09 pm
AKA: Ron
Location: Eagle, Idaho

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by Fred the Cat » Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:00 pm

I look at sprites as "lightning farts" generating ozone depleted by a spray previously used to cover it up. Maybe it's "Nature's Way" of telling us something's wrong. :idea:

Probably not what Spirit had in mind. :no:
Freddy's Felicity "Only ascertain as a cat box survivor"

User avatar
geckzilla
Ocular Digitator
Posts: 9158
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Location: Modesto, CA

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by geckzilla » Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:21 pm

Ann wrote:I'd love to know what causes the colors.

This jet lightning is purple to violet near bottom and red at top. Could this be related to blue jets and red sprites, in that the blue jets are lower than the red sprites? Could both these phenomena (or related ones) be seen at different levels of one huge jet?

Ann
Coincidence? Or Earth is a giant toy plasma ball? ;)
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 18546
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by neufer » Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:30 pm

Ann wrote:
I'd love to know what causes the colors.

This jet lightning is purple to violet near bottom and red at top. Could this be related to blue jets and red sprites, in that the blue jets are lower than the red sprites? Could both these phenomena (or related ones) be seen at different levels of one huge jet?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_globe wrote:
Image
Image
<<A plasma globe or plasma lamp is usually a clear glass sphere filled with a mixture of various gases (most commonly neon, sometimes with other noble gases such as argon, xenon and krypton) at nearly atmospheric pressure.>>
ARGON :arrow:
I'm guessing that:
  • blue jets are from ionized nitrogen atoms that regain an electron after being ionized;

    while red sprites are from ionized nitrogen atoms that return to their ground state.

    Purple to violet gigantic jets are a combination (and/or) ARGON.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora wrote:
<<Auroras result from emissions of photons in the Earth's upper atmosphere, above 80 km, from ionized nitrogen atoms regaining an electron, and oxygen atoms and nitrogen based molecules returning from an excited state to ground state. They are ionized or excited by the collision of particles precipitated into the atmosphere. Both incoming electrons and protons may be involved. Excitation energy is lost within the atmosphere by the emission of a photon, or by collision with another atom or molecule:

oxygen emissions
  • green or orange-red (630.0 nm), depending on the amount of energy absorbed.
nitrogen emissions
  • blue: if the atom regains an electron after it has been ionized,
    red: if returning to ground state from an excited state.
Oxygen is unusual in terms of its return to ground state: it can take three quarters of a second to emit green light and up to two minutes to emit red. Collisions with other atoms or molecules absorb the excitation energy and prevent emission. Because the highest atmosphere has a higher percentage of oxygen and is sparsely distributed such collisions are rare enough to allow time for oxygen to emit red. Collisions become more frequent progressing down into the atmosphere, so that red emissions do not have time to happen, and eventually even green light emissions are prevented. This is why there is a color differential with altitude; at high altitudes oxygen red dominates, then oxygen green and nitrogen blue/red, then finally nitrogen blue/red when collisions prevent oxygen from emitting anything.>>
Last edited by neufer on Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Art Neuendorffer

Boomer12k
:---[===] *
Posts: 2691
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:07 am

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by Boomer12k » Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:40 pm

I just thought it was a Red Sprite caught from the ground, because it appear RED at the top... evidently not... very interesting phenomena. Lightning shooting up like a fountain.... WONDERFUL...

:---[===] *

chuckster
Ensign
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:02 am

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by chuckster » Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:02 pm

In the NOVA episode called "The Edge Of Space", Sprite research is featured. A group of scientists, split between two small jet planes, and equipped with ultra-high speed cameras, flew near a very powerful thunderstorm over Colorado, and captured a whole zoo of TLE types, including one in 3D (using imagery of the same event from both planes). The epidsode also discusses the "the world electrical circuit" and the Schumann Resonance (I think that's what it's called).

User avatar
Joe Stieber
Science Officer
Posts: 194
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:41 pm
Location: Maple Shade, NJ

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by Joe Stieber » Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:04 pm

Unless I missed it, and my apologies if I did, nobody has mentioned the identity of the background stars so far.

The first thing that jumped out at me was the Water Jar of Aquarius. It's the triangle of stars, with a fourth star at the middle, near the right-hand edge above the clouds. Towards the upper right-hand corner, the brightest star in the field is Enif, the nose of Pegasus (Epsilon Pegasi). Looking at the full-size version, you can even make out the globular cluster, M15, a bit above Enif. The Great Square of Pegasus is left of center, just above the clouds, but the bottom-right corner marked by Algenib (Gamma Pegasi) is hidden by the clouds. The bottom-left corner of the Great Square is Alpheratz (Alpha Andromedae), just above the camera and airplane track (yes, it is indeed a typical airplane track). Moving left from the airplane track past the cloud, the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) is between the cloud and the left edge.

heehaw

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by heehaw » Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:17 pm

This is why I go to APOD first thing every morning (well, today at 5:16 in the afternoon). Sometimes, as today, I see something ASTOUNDING! Thanks, APOD!

thomastank68

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by thomastank68 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:15 pm

The correct term for this phenomena is a "Sprite" (or "Lightning Sprites").

Will APOD correct all references to Lighting Jets?

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 18546
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by neufer » Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:26 pm


thomastank68 wrote:
The correct term for this phenomena is a "Sprite" (or "Lightning Sprites").

Will APOD correct all references to Lighting Jets?
No. http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php? ... 81#p261335
Art Neuendorffer

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 16205
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: APOD: Gigantic Jet Lightning over China (2016 Aug 23)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:30 pm

thomastank68 wrote:The correct term for this phenomena is a "Sprite" (or "Lightning Sprites").

Will APOD correct all references to Lighting Jets?
This is not a sprite. It is some kind of jet. "Lightning" might reasonably be replaced with "TLE", but "sprite" would be wrong.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com