Red Sprite Lightning Observed from Attica, Greece

August 13, 2020


August  2020 Viewer's ChoicePhotographer: Dimitris Sagiakos
Summary Authors: Dimitris Sagiakos; Jim Foster

Shown above is a bright red sprite as observed several weeks ago above northern Euboia, Greece. I was watching the lightning activity from a powerful storm with team members from our location northeast of Attica, Greece, and decided to set up my camera equipment in hopes of capturing this elusive, upper atmospheric lightning. Lasting but a fraction of a second, sprites are generated as mature storms decay, at altitudes ranging from about 25-55 miles (40-89 km) above the Earth's surface.

This same event was actually viewed with the unaided eye by another team member, watching the storm from southern Euboia. Note that the brightly lit area at the base of the storm was illuminated by the lightning discharge responsible for creating the sprite. Photo taken on June 21, 2020 (11:00 p.m.).

Photo Details: Camera NIKON D7200; Software Adobe Photoshop CC (Windows); Exposure Time 6.000s; Aperture ƒ/2.8; ISO equivalent 4000; Focal Length (35mm) 21; Lens Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX II 11-16mm F2.8.