Blue lightning shooting upward filmed from space for the first time 

Posted: February 9, 2017 by oldbrew in atmosphere

Image credit: Thijs Bors

Viewing and filming ‘exotic’ electrical events from space sounds like interesting work if you can get it.

For years, scientists have been piecing together evidence of peculiar phenomena known as red sprites, blue jets, pixies and elves – exotic types of electrical discharges that emanate from thunderstorms.

Just one week after his arrival on the International Space Station, Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen captured the best evidence that blue jets exist, reports

Mogensen’s 160-second video documented 245 blue flashes as the space station flew 250 miles above the Bay of Bengal.

Now the findings have been published in Geophysical Research Letters. “According to the researchers, this is the first time they’ve ever seen this blue lightning shoot up like that,” Mogensen said.

The video also shows a spidery tangle of red sprites flashing upward from the clouds. Satellites have documented such phenomena before, but Mogensen had much better view of the discharges.

Close study of the discharges, known as transient luminous events, could help scientists understand more fully how the atmosphere serves as a shield against space radiation.

“It is not every day that you get to capture a new weather phenomenon on film, so I am very pleased with the result – but even more so that researchers will be able to investigate these intriguing thunderstorms in more detail soon,” Mogensen said today in a report from the European Space Agency.

The report continues here.

  1. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on PebbleSkies and commented:
    What an amazing capture

  2. […] Source: Blue lightning shooting upward filmed from space for the first time  | Tallbloke’s Talkshop […]

  3. BoyfromTottenham says:

    Fascinating! As one who understands basic electricity, I await with great interest a scientific (i.e. physics-based) explanation of this phenomena. Scientific life is never dull – for long.

  4. graphicconception says:

    “Close study of the discharges, known as transient luminous events …”

    Is a “transient luminous event” what we used to call a flash?

  5. Thijs says:

    Like the blog post but did not have the rights to use my photo. Welcome to keep the photo up and recredit the image. Out of curiosity did ask for anything to use the photo?

    [reply] no. Image credit updated – thanks.