What is “Blue Jet Lightning”?

The Scientists from the International Space Station (ISS) have observed a bright-blue lightning bolt that is shooting upward from the thunderclouds. Such blue jets are hard to observe from the ground because the electrical discharges emerge from the tops of thunderclouds. But from space, one can easily observe the phenomenon.

Highlights

  • The instrument at the space station had captured a blue jet shooting from the thunderstorm cell near a small island in the central Pacific Ocean on February 26, 2019.
  • Scientists had observed the five intense flashes of blue light.
  • Each of the lighting lasting about 10 to 20 milliseconds.
  • After that, the blue jet moved out from the cloud towards a narrow cone shape stretching into the stratosphere.

What are blue jets?

  • Blue jets are initiated as “normal” lightning discharges.
  • It emerges between the upper positive charge region in a thundercloud and a negative screening layer above the charge region.
  • The positive end network fills the negative charge region and after that the negative end fills the positive charge region.
  • After that, the positive end exits the cloud and starts propagating upward.
  • Earlier, it was believed that blue jets are directly related to lightning flashes but it is the result of the hails.
  • The blue jets are brighter than sprites and are blue in colour.
  • The blue colour of the jets is the result of blue and near-ultraviolet emission lines from neutral and ionized molecular nitrogen.
  • The blue jets were recorded on October 21, 1989 for the first time.

Thunderstorm

It is also known as an electrical storm or a lightning storm. It is characterized by the presence of lightning and the acoustic effect on the Earth’s atmosphere that is thunder. This phenomenon is usually taking place in the cumulonimbus cloud, the thunderstorm is also accompanied by strong winds and heavy rain. It could also lead to snow, sleet, or hail.

Cumulonimbus Cloud

It is a dense and towering vertical cloud. This cloud is formed by the water vapor which is carried by the powerful upward air currents.

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