Red jellyfish sprites and green ghosts taken on September 10, 2020 over Corsica
© Christophe SUAREZ
Red jellyfish sprites and green ghosts taken on September 10, 2020 over Corsica.
Christophe Suarez of Genoa, Italy, wasn't trying to photograph sprites when he pointed his camera at a distant thunderstorm on Sept. 10th. But this magnificent specimen was too big to miss.

"I was shooting a thunderstorm across the Ligurian Sea almost 400 km away over the island of Corsica," says Suarez. "Suddenly this jellyfish sprite appeared!" Its red form stretched 100 km high, nearly touching the edge of space.

Note the slightly-green caps on top of the sprite. These are a newly discovered phenomenon called "Green Ghosts." When sprites intersect Earth's airglow layer 96-97 km high, they can excite oxygen atoms, producing an aurora-like glow.

Green Ghosts were discovered just one year ago by Hank Schyma, a Houston Texas-based storm chaser better known to his fans as Pecos Hank. Only a handful of Green Ghosts have ever been photographed, so this is an area of cutting edge research.