Blue Jet Lightning Sighted Over Texas

Posted: August 6, 2022 by oldbrew in atmosphere, Electro-magnetism

‘Clearly, it is important to study blue jets.’ – Indeed.

August 4, 2022: Seeing one blue jet is rare. Photographer Matthew Griffiths just caught several of them over the Big Bend National Park in Texas. “This is by far the best,” he says:

Above: A blue jet emerges from a thunderhead in Big Bend National Park, photographed by Matthew Griffiths in Marfa, Texas: more.

Griffiths is an amateur photographer, primarily interested in wildlife and the Milky Way. “On July 28th, I was starting a five night West Texas road trip to capture the Milky Way,” he says. “But with thunderstorms in the distance I decided to try for red sprites instead.”

He ended up photographing the sprite’s elusive cousin, the blue jet. First recorded by cameras on the space shuttle in 1989, blue jets are part of a growing menagerie of cloudtop “transient luminous events” such as sprites, ELVES and green ghosts. They are all elusive, but blue…

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  1. oldbrew says:

    AUGUST 8, 2022
    New information on ‘gigantic jet’ lightning bursts that reach toward space

    A detailed 3D study of a massive electrical discharge that rose 50 miles into space above an Oklahoma thunderstorm has provided new information about an elusive atmospheric phenomenon known as gigantic jets. The Oklahoma discharge was the most powerful gigantic jet studied so far, carrying 100 times as much electrical charge as a typical thunderstorm lightning bolt.
    . . .
    Why do the gigantic jets shoot charge into space? Researchers speculate that something may be blocking the flow of charge downward—or toward other clouds. Records of the Oklahoma event show little lightning activity from the storm before it fired the record gigantic jet.

    “For whatever reason, there is usually a suppression of cloud-to-ground discharges,” Boggs said. “There is a buildup of negative charge, and then we think that the conditions in the storm top weaken the uppermost charge layer, which is usually positive. In the absence of the lightning discharges we normally see, the gigantic jet may relieve the buildup of excess negative charge in the cloud.”

    For now, there are a lot of unanswered questions about gigantic jets, which are part of a class of mysterious transient luminous events.

  2. oldbrew says:

    ‘Gigantic jet’ that shot into space may be the most powerful lightning bolt ever detected
    Published 28 minutes ago

    This lightning bolt over Oklahoma was one of the rarest and most powerful on Earth.

    In a study published Aug. 3 in the journal Science Advances(opens in new tab), researchers analyzed a gigantic jet that shot out of a cloud over Oklahoma in 2018. By studying the jet’s radio-wave(opens in new tab) emissions using satellite and radar data, the team learned that the bolt moved approximately 300 coulombs of energy from the top of the cloud to the lower ionosphere — the layer of charged particles that separates Earth’s upper atmosphere from the vacuum of space — or roughly 60 times the 5-coulomb output of a typical lightning bolt.

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