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Ученые NASA изучают необычайное природное явление - "джеты" и "эльфов"Nature is so amazing atmospheric phenomena as lightning, the batter into the ground during a lightning storm, studied the man is still very superficially. Yet scientists know less about the unusual varieties of lightning, for example, ball lightning, or high-rise types of lightning, which can be observed more rarely. But experts do not stop attempts to explore these phenomena and literally go on the hunt for lightning. Sometimes the search to be successful - amazing natural phenomenon manage to capture a photo or video, and then to study in detail.

One of the most rare and poorly known species of lightning is a lightning occurring in the upper atmosphere. But when you get to know more about them, can reveal many secrets about the nature of electricity and "space weather"raging around our planet, experts say NASA.

The so-called high-altitude lightning - the phenomenon for science completely new. First high-altitude lightning captured on film in 1989, and then accidentally: American scientists have tested a new camera and lens got a piece of the sky with storm. Later when viewing entries specialists noticed unusual lightning. A serious attempt to capture a unique natural phenomenon has taken a group of scientists with the assistance of the Japanese TV crew in the summer of 2011. Then the researchers chased by lightning two aircraft, armed with a video camera shooting at a rate of 10 thousand frames per minute, and eventually gathered a unique material.

However, mention of high-altitude lightning occur in the stories of the first pilots, rising in the sky, about a hundred years ago. By the way, exactly what such lightning occur high enough off the ground and noticed they can usually only be rising even higher, and makes this phenomenon is so complex for observation.

Only in the beginning of this year, experts managed to get a shot of high-altitude lightning in high resolution. It was made on 30 April ISS astronauts. The photograph shows a large outbreak of electricity generated, strangely enough, almost cloudless sky over the night side of the planet. This type of lightning is called sprite, the article says NASA.

In General, high-altitude lightning come in several types. In appearance they are sometimes classified as follows: a bluish spot - "sprites", reddish ring - "elves", beating up jet blue "jets". Classify red jet - "tigery".

"The elves" look like a huge poorly lit red cones with a diameter of a few hundred km and a height of up to 100 km. They appear from the top of the clouds and "live" not more than five milliseconds. Jet" similar to "elves", but smaller in size up to 70 miles high and have a blue color. Last such outbreaks little longer. Red "sprites" appear at the altitude of 50 kilometers, while ordinary lightning storm is formed at a height of no more than 15-16 kilometers. Flash duration is from units to tens of milliseconds.

About "jets" and "the elves" science has learned a few years later, after opening "sprites" - in 1994, when a powerful storm in Texas, researchers first photographed blue atmospheric "fountains".

However, exact classification of high-altitude lightning is missing, so sometimes it is difficult to distinguish one species from another. Thus, it is believed that the area glow "sprites" stretches up to 85-90 kilometres above the earth, "elves" appear at the altitude of 70-90 km, and "jets" start at the top of the clouds and spread sometimes up mesospheric heights (90 kilometers) at speeds of about 100 km/s, the article says the staff of the Institute of applied physics RAS. "Sprites" often appear in groups and line up in a circle, besides a little "dance". Than give food for the imagination to UFO hunters, noted scientists from the University of tel Aviv.

- It is considered that the weather phenomena that we daily observed that exist by themselves. And the processes occurring in the upper part of the atmosphere - by themselves. The existence of high-altitude lightning proves that both terrestrial areas are interrelated, " said NASA employee Karen Fox. - And have yet to figure out how between them is an exchange of energy.
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