Astronomy Picture of the Day

Gigantic Jets Over Oklahoma

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#103084 by @ 30.08.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
Gigantic Jets Over Oklahoma

Have you ever seen a gigantic jet?

They are extremely rare but tremendously powerful.

Gigantic jets
are a newly discovered type of lightning discharge between some
thunderstorms and the Earth's
ionosphere high above them.

Pictured above is one such jet caught by accident by a meteor camera in

The gigantic jet, at the lower left, traversed perhaps 70 kilometers in just under one second.

Clicking on the image will bring up a movie in many browsers, also visible

Gigantic jets are much different from regular cloud-to-cloud and
cloud-to-ground lightning.

The bottoms of gigantic jets appear similar in appearance to another type
cloud-to-ionosphere strike called
blue jets, while the tops appear similar to
red sprites.

Although the mechanism and
trigger that causes gigantic jets is a topic of research,
it is clear that the jets reduce charge imbalance between different parts of Earth's atmosphere.

A good way to look for
gigantic jets is to watch a powerful but distant thunderstorm from a clear location.

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#103127 by @ 03.09.2007 15:12 - nach oben -
kuhl, i han immer denkt diä gseht mer nur vom weltraum us