Jellyfish in the Air!

Thunder rolled not far away.

Hovering in the tropopause lay the cumulus clouds, the steep atmospheric difference flattening their tops into a disc around ten miles wide. Their ice particles were of all sizes, since the clouds had taken up any and all of the dust particles from the ground during evaporation.

Particles of different sizes dashed into each other all the time. The bigger aerosols sucked in charge from tiny particles and sunk to the bottom of their abode. Positive charge gradually built in the upper regions of the clouds, casting heavy shadows on the already dark world. The thunderstorm that was predicted weeks ago above Central Africa hovered minutes away from release.

Soon enough, heavy clouds emptied themselves in thick sheets of rain into the night sky.

Earth’s negative charge quickly retreated into the planet’s depths due to the strong repulsion from the clouds. Positive charge, strongly attracted to the bottom of the cumulus, was continually obstructed by air resistance while it tried to weave its path towards the gigantic cloud.

A few lightning warnings struck the air before the air resistance was completely overpowered and the clouds and ground connected with a bolt of lightning, stripping the sky of its darkness. Electric charge shot up towards the clouds, with jets of lightning branching out to follow the path of least resistance. For that second, as lightning streaked across the darkness, entire ground witnessed the sky’s thundering rage.

Great White Thunderstorm. nd. Web. 28 Aug. 2017.

And it lit up in response.

Above and away from the on-going war, the ionosphere hung calmly, its ions quietly drifting to and fro in the air. Earlier during the day, the Sun had torn apart electrons from their atoms. Now they moved about freely, ionizing the air around them. And then it happened.

At the same time a fierce lightning flickered somewhere inside the thunderstorm, some amount of electric charged arched upwards into space, scraping the lower edge of the ionosphere.

The density change had it bubbling in response, creating a beautiful halo with jets of streamers leaving a trail behind.

Countless light particles rained down from the halo, while the charged particles in atmosphere interacting with these light particles to create a pathway for the electrons to travel.

During its millisecond lifespan, a jellyfish-like structure hung in the air: the sprite in all its glory.


Sprites Documentary-

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