While leading a storm tour photography group in June, photographer Greg McCown captured a rare phenomenon in the sky when red sprites appeared above Windy Point on top of Mount Lemmon. While these sprites might look like something alien, they’re actually perfectly natural.
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Discovered within the last 20 years, sprites are discharges from lightning in the upper atmosphere, according to PetaPixel. Sprites can take on many different shapes when they form in the upper atmosphere, and McCown says they are relatively rare, and only happen when you catch a storm just right.
Luckily, McCown and the people on his tour were ready to capture evidence of the red sprites when they appeared in the sky, forever capturing the phenomena in beautiful photographs that were later shared on Instagram. McCown says that he has photographed sprites like this around five times now.
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He also says that the storm that created the effects in the sky was first spotted over Mexico, and that when they spotted it on the radar, they thought they might have a good chance of capturing something intriguing. That gut feeling paid off, too.
Red light displays like these aren’t all that appear in the skies. We’ve also seen rare pink auroras appear in the sky, too. And some photographers have even captured beautiful time-lapses of lightning strikes to give us detailed looks at thunderstorms like those violent enough to cause sprites to appear in the upper atmosphere.
Our world is filled with many amazing things. Capturing things such as these rare, red sprites that appear in the sky at night is one of the ways we can enjoy them. Not only does it allow the moment to be immortalized in the image forever, but it also gives people who weren’t present at the time a chance to enjoy it as well.
The post Rare red sprites photographed in the night sky look like an alien invasion appeared first on BGR.