Archive for Gigantic Jets

Upper atmospheric lightnings : a new kind of sprite spotted over a thunderstorm in western Oklahoma

Posted in 2017, astronomy, Galaxy, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame


Barely 30 years ago, many researchers did not believe that upper atmospheric lightning existed—until 1989 when researchers from the University of Minnesota captured them on video tape. Now there is a menagerie of accepted forms: sprites, elves, gigantic jets, gnomes. These “transient luminous events” (TLEs) appear above thunderclouds, reaching toward space rather than lancing down to the ground like regular lightning.

On Aug.14th, Thomas Ashcraft may have spotted a new kind of sprite. “I was photographing a cluster of sprites over a thunderstorm in western Oklahoma when something curved snaked up behind the main cluster.” This frame from his video of the event shows the strange form


Sometimes called “space lightning,” Gigantic Jets and their cousins the sprites are true space weather phenomena.

Posted in 2017, astronomy, Galaxy with tags , , , on July 27, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame


Sometimes called “space lightning,” Gigantic Jets and their cousins the sprites are true space weather phenomena. They inhabit the upper atmosphere alongside auroras, meteors and noctilucent clouds. Some researchers believe they are linked to cosmic rays: subatomic particles from deep space striking the top of Earth’s atmosphere produce secondary electrons that could, in turn, provide the spark for these upward bolts.

The link to cosmic rays is particularly interesting at this time. For the past two years, space weather balloons have observed a steady increase in deep space radiation penetrating our atmosphere. This increase is largely due to the decline in the solar cycle. Flagging solar wind pressure and weakening sunspot magnetic fields allow more cosmic rays into the inner solar system–a trend which is expected to continue for for years to come. These changes could add up to more Gigantic Jets in the future. Stay tuned!

More Info on


%d bloggers like this: