Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Winter sprites and elves over the Bay of Biscay

Happy new year!

It seems we should call it EuroSprite 2008, because here are the first sprites and elves of the new year! I've run the remotely controlled camera of Lannemezan twice already. It captured quite a lot of events between the clouds, of which many are transient luminous events. Yes, the wintery showers with an occasional thunder arriving from the sea produce many elves and also sprites, when they are clustered together. A big thunderstorm is not required. Take a look at the Bay of Biscay in these satellite images:

January 11 2008: 4 TLEs (elves or halos) in the evening. They were at the rightmost side of the view. Not really interesting images to show, but nevertheless events. Clouds probably prevented from capturing more.

16-17 January (last night): 16 TLEs: 9 elves and 7 sprites. The storms look more clustered into bands compared to the previous case which is probably more favourable for large charge reservoirs that supply the strong discharges needed for sprites.
Here are some images:

Above is a bright elve followed by a sprite a few frames later. The color is added this time to bring some change from all the grey stuff.

Above is another elve.

Above is a group of columns.

And a nice carrot! Note in the images at the bottom right corner is a LINET crossed-loop lightning detection antenna.
Tonight sprites and elves over the Mediterranean Sea, hopefully observable (i.e. no clouds)!


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