Red Sprites from MCS storm over Slovakia
© Daniel Ščerba
Red Sprites from MCS storm over Slovakia.
Sprite season is underway in Europe. On June 13th, Czech photographer Daniel Ščerba-Elza recorded these giant jellyfish over a mesoscale convective thunderstorm.

"My camera was set up in the Jeseniky mountains," says Ščerba-Elza. "The sprites were more than 200 km away, across over border with Slovakia." Considering the distances involved, the jellyfish must have been nearly 50 km tall, measured from heads to tentacle-tips.

"The storm was very active," continues Ščerba-Elza. "During my observing session, I observed more than 30 clusters like this."

This kind of hyperactivity may be boosted by Solar Minimum, happening now. During this low phase of the solar cycle. cosmic rays from deep space flood into the inner solar system, allowed in by the sun's weakening magnetic field. Some models hold that cosmic rays help sprites get started by creating conductive paths in the atmosphere. That would make the summer of 2020 a good time to look for jellyfish in the sky.