A natural occurrence called “sprites” may offer an explanation for UFO sightings, a Tel Aviv University professor revealed.
Sprites, a burst of light high in the atmosphere 35 to 90 miles from the surface and up to Ten times stronger than a normal lightning bolt, last for a fraction of second and exclusively take place in the course of thunderstorms, according to Professor Colin Price, leader of the Geophysics and Planetary Sciences Division at the institute.
“Sprites, which only occur in conjunction with thunderstorms, under no circumstances occur on their own and are cousins to corresponding natural phenomenon known by atmospheric experts as “elves,” “trolls” and “goblins,” Price said.
Professor Price and his students are working in association with other Israeli researchers from The Open University and The Hebrew Institute to capture 3-dimensional pictures of sprites to gain a increased understanding of their form, using unmanned, roof-mounted cameras looking over the Mediterranean Sea.
Sprites are large scale electrical emissions which take place high above a thunderstorm cloud, or cumulonimbus, delivering a quite diverse range of visual forms. They are an electrical phenomena that support approximately one in every 200 lightning strikes. This natural phenomenon produces high-altitude radiant flashes that take place above thunderstorms in a section of the atmosphere named the mesosphere.
Sprites are ordinarily red and white in colour generally last approximately only a few seconds, and their forms are depicted as resembling jellyfish, carrots, or columns. Sprites were first recorded in 1989 when some University of Minnesota scientists, waiting to film a rocket launch, pointed the camera at a remote thunderstorm. The original detailed video images were recorded in 2006 by Steven Cummer of Duke University, Durham, in the United States. His pictures indicated that sprites are composed of falling columns of electrical discharge called streamers. Cummer could see the sprites develop by filming them at 7000 frames per second.
He points out that not all sprites exhibit rising streamer heads, and believes that the second piece of the event only occurs during very high-energy events. He now wants to find out how the sprites are affecting the chemistry of the atmosphere and, in conjunction with his associates, has move towards a list of 270 responses that could be occurring during the sprite occurrence.
Sprites are likely to take place for the most part at the end of thunderstorm. “Sprites are magnificent luminous verification of electrodynamics coupling amongst the neutral atmosphere in which weather systems occur and the higher-altitude ionized areas of the Earth’s atmosphere known as the mesosphere and the lower ionosphere. The significance of the new discovery is that the radio signals caused by lightning releases that generate sprites are distinctly different from ordinary lightning storms due to additional lightning discharges.
Given this mystical effect last for a matter of a fraction of a second it is unlikely that Professor Prices’ claims that these events may offer a rational explanation around UFO sightings are in our view limited. The vast majority of sightings involves coherent objects in the skies which, for the most part, have a life span of far more than a fraction of a second. That is not to say that these natural effects do not have some links to UFO sightings, although to quote this as a wholesale statement around an ‘explanation for UFO sightings’ is somewhat naive.