A photographer recorded one of the rarest rays from Earth in the skies of Puerto Rico while taking pictures of an electrical storm offshore in an unincorporated territory of the United States.
And NASA scientists who studied this phenomenon praised the lightning, in the form of a giant plane with fireballs. The author of the flick, Frankie Lucina, says he couldn’t believe the result he got when he watched the event on Monday (20).
“This giant plasma jet event occurred during a very strong storm near the Virgin Islands, just before Tropical Storm Peter,” the photographer explained on his social networks. “I can’t believe I was able to capture such amazing detail.”
According to meteorological firm MetSul, the lightning photographed by Lucina is considered “the highest on Earth” because it hits the ionosphere, a layer of the atmosphere located between 60 and 1,000 km in height, and more than 80 km in height.
The first records for this type of light aircraft were only in 2001 and 2002, near Taiwan and Puerto Rico. But since then there have been dozens of “apparitions” that have generated theses about its origin, which have not been fully substantiated until today.
“They seem to like storms over water and are notorious for surprising passengers on commercial planes,” Tony Phillips, a NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) scientist who studies the phenomenon, said in an article on the SpaceWeather website.
Oscar van der Velde, a Ray scientist, from the Universidad Politecnica de Catalunya, also noted his experience with this phenomenon, praising Lucina’s achievement. In 2017 and 2018, he installed high-speed cameras on the north coast of Colombia in a survey intended to capture giant aircraft. But in three months of observation, he managed to capture only twelve,
“Frankie photographed a rare giant jet with ‘island’ morphology, first reported in a study published in Nature by Su et al (2003)”, the researcher explained in the same article, noting that the event could also be tree-shaped. .
“This is the brightest giant aircraft I’ve ever seen. It was really cool,” he praised, also referring to the possible origin of the phenomenon. “It could be plasma flows within the jet crossing or higher heating regions,” theorized the researcher from the Catalan University.
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