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Astronomy Picture of the Day _Sprites from Space
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From NASA:

Explanation: An old Moon and the stars of Orion rose above the eastern horizon on August 10. The Moon's waning crescent was still bright enough to be overexposed in this snapshot taken from another large satellite of planet Earth, the International Space Station. A greenish airglow traces the atmosphere above the limb of the planet's night. Below, city lights and lightning flashes from thunderstorms appear over southern Mexico. The snapshot also captures the startling apparition of a rare form of upper atmospheric lightning, a large red sprite caught above a lightning flash at the far right. While the space station's orbital motion causes the city lights to blur and trail during the exposure, the extremely brief flash of the red sprite is sharp. Now known to be associated with thunderstorms, much remains a mystery about sprites including how they occur, their effect on the atmospheric global electric circuit, and if they are somehow related to other upper atmospheric lightning phenomena such as blue jets or terrestrial gamma flashes.

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Oooh! Thank you for this! I am so enamored of anything celestial. Would have loved to be an astro-physicist if I had a brain! *g*

I am merely the messenger. Thank NASA!! If only I was young now, astro-physcist would be awesome. I have no doubt we both have adequate enough brains!!

Gorgeous! Not sure I understand the causes, but the effects are outstanding. FanSee

They don't even entirely understand the red sprites so no big deal there, right? What I love is seeing the frailness of our atmosphere, the moonrise, and lightening dancing over Mexico!!

Neat! I guess the red sprites can't be seen from the ground?

They can be seen from the ground even though they occur in the upper atmosphere. I know because Wikipedia says so :)

Love your icon!

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