Red Sprite and Bright Meteor

September 16, 2019

Perseid and spriteSeptember 2019 Viewer's Choice

Photographer: Arnaud Besancon
Summary Author: Arnaud Besancon 

The photo above shows a transient luminescence event (red sprite) and a bright meteor as observed from the summit of Le Grand Ballon (4,672 ft or 1,424 m), in the Alsace region of France. Both were captured near 10:00 p.m. on August 26, 2019.

I noticed storms with lightning far to the east (some 200 miles or 322 km distant) and decided to see if I could glimpse red sprites above the storm tops. Using my Sony A7s camera with an external 4K recorder, I was fortunate to catch the red sprite and then about 6 minutes later the meteor, which I placed on this image by perfectly matching the star fields in both pictures.

Photo Details: Sony A7s camera; Ninja 4K external recorder; Samyang XP 85 mm lens, wide open; f/1.2; 25600 ISO; 25 i/s. All pictures (4 for the sprite and 18 for the meteor) were extracted from the 4K video. The final image has been resized into 2/3 format (original format was 16/9).