By Strange Sounds -
Mar 30, 2016
This picture shows pulsating blue jets firing up in the night sky of Darwin, Australia on March 28, 2016.
But what are these mysterious and elusive transient luminous events?William Nguyen Phuoc: Flickr and 500px
Blue jets are a highly enigmatic high altitude optical phenomenon and were first documented on October 21, 1989, from the Space Shuttle as it passed over Australia.
Enlarged picture of the blue jet by William Nguyen Phuoc: Flickr and 500px
This type of elusive transient luminous events are optical ejections from the top of the electrically active core regions of thunderstorms. And as their name implies, they are blue in color.
Zooming towards the blue jets captured by William Nguyen Phuoc: Flickr and 500px over Darwin
However, they are not directly associated with cloud-to-ground lightning. By 2007, fewer than a hundred images had been obtained.
Following their emergence from the top of the thundercloud, they typically propagate upward in narrow cones of about 15 degrees.
Gif from Astronaut Andreas Mogensen showing the first-ever blue jets as seen from the International Space Station. via IO9
They fan out and disappear at heights of about 25-30 miles (40-50 km) with a lifetime of a couple of tenths of a second.
The color is believed to be due to a set of blue and near-ultraviolet emission lines from neutral and ionized molecular nitrogen.
Pictures of the blue jets above this thunderstorm cell over Darwin were shot from a distance of about 100km by William Nguyen Phuoc. Visit his website ntwildscapes.com as well as his Flickr and 500px pages.
Thanks to: trangesounds.org/