Monday, October 29, 2007

Many sprites: October 11-12 and 12-13!

A small active low pressure area generated many thunderstorms over the southwestern Mediterranean Sea these days.

Many sprites were captured with the camera from Pic du Midi, some from Toulouse (very low near the horizon), and some from La Molina. The latter locations could have detected more if technical problems would not have occurred. My laptop hard disk crashed and most of the sprite footage of this night was lost. I then continued operating Pic from my office after a 7 km bike trip.
The UFOCapture software combined with a Watec camera actually detected also a number of smaller sprites not detected by Pic du Midi, so the number of sprites detected by the latter is only a subset of those that truly occurred.
Several sprites can be triangulated to find their exact locations, which is very important for detailed studies.
The count for 11-12 October is about 65 events: sprites, an elve and one or two sprite haloes. The first good color images have been obtained from Pic du Midi.
Here are the most interesting images:

color image of the above sprite:

sprite with halo:
Classic carrot sprite with halo:
a closer classic column sprite:

The following sprite clearly follows the electric field lines to a confined region of charge:

The below sprite event is the most impressive. It consists of two parts. A huge area of columniform sprites...

...quickly followed by a very tall sprite cluster:
This one looks like it may include a troll (upward secondary event), though not in apparent connection to the cloud:
Some sprites are difficult to classify at all...

The count for 12-13 October is 16 sprites and a very nice elve. They could be recorded even from 700 km distance, with the storms near the Algerian coast!
Some images:

The elve:


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