The existence of blue jets has been active for years and years and much has been debated about their existence. The pilots report that it is not easy to observe these as these take place quite above the thunderstorms. An ESA astronaut, Andreas Mogensen, was asked to snap pictures over thunderstorm with a highly sensitive camera while he was on a mission on the ISS in year 2015. The National Space Institute from Denmark recently published the results confirming that multiple kilometer-blue flashes that have been over an altitude of 18kms above the ground. These jets are capable of pulsating to a distance of 40kms.He recorded a video of these flashes as he flied over the Bay of Bengal at a distance of 28,800 kmph over the station and showed the electrical phenomenon quite clearly which is one of its kind.
Satellites have already looked into such events, however, they were not successful as the viewing angle was not perfect for scaling such blue jets and more minute blue discharges. The lower orbit of the station, on the other hand, had perfect angle for capturing the jets and sprites. Andreas mainly aimed at the cloud turrets which are the cloud pillars going into the upper atmosphere, he shot a 160 second long video that showed 245 blue flashes from the turret’s tip that moved away from the thunderstorm of Bay of Bengal.
These blue jets and discharges are best examples of a less understood segments of our atmosphere. Electrical storms reach the stratosphere and have effects for how our surroundings keep us safe from radiations. Andreas concludes by saying. “”It is not every day that you get to capture a new weather phenomenon on film, so I am very pleased with the result – but even more so that researchers will be able to investigate these intriguing thunderstorms in more detail soon.”
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