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New images of rare thunder

Written by  Friday, 01 December 2023 07:00
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ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen has captured images of rare thunder phenomena as part of the Thor-Davis experiment on his Huginn mission. 

Taken with expert timing

Red sprite over thundercloud
Red sprite over thundercloud

Every Saturday Andreas grabbed the Space Station’s camera, mounted the Davis camera on top and headed to the Cupola to look out for thunderstorms on Earth. The first image is now out.

Andreas managed to capture a red sprite, a thunderous phenomenon called Transient Luminous Event (TLE), that takes place above thunderclouds, between 40 and 80 kilometres over the ground. From the image and the video, he captured, scientists estimate that the size of the red sprite is roughly 14 by 26 km. As the red sprites form above thunder clouds, they are not easily studied from ground and are therefore mostly seen from space, including using the Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM) that sits on the outside of the Space Station. However few sprites have been seen from the ground.

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