ISS records ‘blue jet’ lightning from space

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Scientists have recorded footage of a spectacular natural phenomenon that is only clearly visible from space.

Filmed from high above the clouds through cameras aboard the International Space Station, this impressive form of lightning – which appears as a blue vertical column – is usually hard to see.

This particular example, which can be seen in the video below, was captured on February 26th, 2019 shooting out of a thunderstorm cell above the small Pacific island of Nauru.

It was preceded by five distinct flashes lasting mere milliseconds and accompanied by tiny flashes of ultraviolet light – a phenomenon known as ‘Elves’ (Emissions of Light and Very Low Frequency Perturbations due to Electromagnetic Pulse Source.)

According to scientists, the blue jets themselves occur when a cloud’s positively-charged upper region interacts with the negatively-charged boundary between the cloud and the air above it.

There is however still much to learn about this intriguing, yet mysterious phenomenon.

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