NASA has shared a picture of rare “red sprite” flashes that resemble an alien invasion.
Red lightning can be seen as branches like jellyfish or fireworks over a French mountain range.
The stunning image was captured by photographer Stephane Vetter.
Nasa revealed it as that Astronomy image of the day of July 4.
Nasa said: “A sensitive camcorder at a summit in the Vosges Mountains in France captured these surprising fireworks above a distant horizon on June 26.
“Generated over intense thunderstorms, this about 260 kilometers away, the short and mysterious flashes have become known as red sprites.
“The transient brilliant events are caused by electrical degradation at altitudes between 50 and 100 kilometers.
“It puts them in the mesopher, the coldest planet of the Earth’s atmosphere.”
Nasa also pointed out the faint silver lines that you may also have noticed in the picture.
The US Space Agency explained: “To the right, the video frames have captured another summer time feeling from the Mesopher.
“The silverless veins of light are polar mesospheric clouds.
“Also known as nocturnal or night-light clouds, the icy clouds still reflect the sunlight when the sun is below the horizon.”
Nasa previously shared another image of the strange natural phenomenon that was also taken by Stephane Vetter.
This photo shows the red liquor flash in much more detail.
Red sprites are electrical discharges that can rise high above the clouds during thunderstorms.
They are usually triggered when a positively charged lightning bolt from a cloud below hits the ground.
Recorded observations of jellyfish-like spirits date back to at least 1886.
What Causes Lightning Strikes?
Here’s everything you need to know …
- Lightning is a large flash or electric bolt caused by thunder
- They are believed to kill between 75 to 100 unhappy souls each year
- Strikes are actually formed by frozen raindrops in the sky
- Within a thunderbolt, ice cubes bump into each other and form an electric charge
- After a while, the entire cloud is filled with electrical charges
- These are divided into negatively charged electrons at the bottom of the cloud and positively charged protons at the top
- Eventually, the cloud loosens by sending a current bolt to the ground
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What do you make of these flash photos? Let us know in the comments …
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