Saturday, November 12, 2005

12 November: more sprites!

Last night yielded 7 sprites from the thunderstorm complex (above) off the Spanish east coast, southwest of the Balearic Islands! Clouds were partly covering the view during the evening, but during the second half of the night, the camera was often looking over the top of the clouds. The camera was all the time pointed in directions between 160 and 175 degrees (south-southeast).
Below are the images (the oldest at the bottom):

5:02:03 UTC:

4:46:05 UTC:

The two sprite events below happened right in the middle, but I could not find any narrow-field frame that contained close-ups of the sprites, unfortunately:

4:31:19 UTC:

4:27:54 UTC:

3:36:29 UTC:

The first two images were caught when the camera was in 5 degrees downward tilt position instead of upward (oops).

2:27:57 UTC:

2:21:38 UTC:

As you can see, the forms look very similar as those of yesterday. No tall carrot sprites were observed. In addition to those of yesterday, some sprites had more ball structures and diagonal streamers, and the first two sprites had clearly visible coma at their top.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Sprites 11 November 2005 near the Balearic Islands

Finally, a nice storm complex near the Balearic Islands and no clouds over the camera on Pic du Midi allowed about 5 new sprite events to be captured tonight! The events all seem to have the shape of columns, but the most intense feature long columns with so-called tendrils stretching downward. Below the best images are presented, there are many smaller and weaker sprites in frames bordering the brighter ones, often resembling a "dancing" sequence. Enjoy:

2:56:13 UTC close-up, and wider view (a wonderful event!). Includes the parent lightning flash itself too:

(4 associated return strokes)

2:43:47 UTC:

2:43:46 UTC, a close-up:

2:43:46 UTC, first bright one in sequence:

(the 2:43 event was associated with 16!! return strokes, positive as well as negative)

2:34:13 UTC:

(8 return strokes within short time period around this event)

1:11:31 UTC, in the constellation of Canis Major with brightest star Sirius:

(4 strokes in different locations over several 10s of km)

And the first sprite recorded, at 0:56:46 UTC in the same constellation:

(6 lightning strokes in different locations over several 10s of km, max. 124 kA)

As last image I'd like to show you the daybreak... a thick layer of hoarfrost has grown on the metal observations tower: