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Sprites above thunderstorms over the northern Adriatic sea – October 6/7, 2018

Czech upper atmosphere lightning observer Martin Popek reports sprites above the thunderstorms over the northern Adriatic sea last night, October 6/7, 2018.

Sprites at 21:29:05 UTC. Photo: Martin Popek.

Popek operates low-light cameras out of Nydek, to detect transient luminous events in the higher atmosphere, including meteors and upper atmosphere lightning. He highly successful, capturing many events over the past years. Last night he recorded two sprites above the squall line in the Kvarner bay, NW Croatia. Each sprite was extremely brief, lasting only hundredths of a second, extending up to about 70 km above the thunderstorms. The extreme height of sprites is also the reason why they were visible so far away: the distance from the camera to storms was between 560 and 630 km away!

Sprites at 21:18:59 UTC. Photo: Martin Popek.

Learn more about sprites and other kinds of upper atmosphere lightning

Sprites, blue jets, gigantic jets, elves – Upper Atmosphere Lightning