Today the Department of Awesome Natural Phenomena teaches us about yet another amazing form of lightning: Red Sprite Lightning. Slovenian photographer Marko Korošec was chasing storms in Vivaro, Italy when he captured these spectacular images of red sprites flashing above a storm taking place over the central Adriatic sea.

"Sprites are large-scale electrical discharges that occur high above thunderstorm clouds, or cumulonimbus, giving rise to a quite varied range of visual shapes flickering in the night sky. They are triggered by the discharges of positive lightning between an underlying thundercloud and the ground. Sprites appear as luminous reddish-orange flashes. They often occur in clusters within the altitude range 50–90 km (31–56 mi) above the Earth’s surface.”

When red sprites flash they only last for a millisecond, so getting to see their beautiful display preserved in dazzling photos like these is an exceptionally rare treat.

Photos by Marko Korošec via Solent News/SIPA Press

[via Design You Trust and Wikipedia]

Reblogged from lucidi-ty