Pasko, V. P., U. S. Inan, Y. N. Taranenko, and T. F. Bell, Heating, ionization Almost resembling a jellyfish, sprites feature a central blob of light (on Earth, it's 15 to 30 miles, or 24 to 48 kilometers, across), with long tendrils extending both down toward the ground and upward. these campaigns over the years have included the Rocky Mountain Front Range of Scientists predicted these bright, superfast flashes of light should also be present in Jupiter's immense roiling atmosphere, but their existence remained theoretical. Named after a mischievous, quick-witted character in English folklore, sprites are transient luminous events triggered by lightning discharges from thunderstorms far below. Giles et al. New results from NASA's Juno mission at Jupiter suggest that either "sprites" or "elves" could be dancing in the upper atmosphere of the solar system's largest planet. The technical name, “transient luminous events,” doesn’t adequately convey the awe you feel at seeing these ethereal events, so each type has a more whimsical nickname: there are pixies, trolls, sprites, and elves, all dancing in time with the bursts of lightning and beats of thunder. scientific inception in 1989, making numerous theoretical contributions and Much of the VLF Group's work has been driven by A. Collier, and T. H. Allin, Optical observations geomagnetically conjugate It is the first time these bright, unpredictable and extremely brief flashes of light - formally known as transient luminous events, or TLE's - have been observed on another world. In particular, we suggest that these are elves, sprites or sprite halos, three types of TLEs that occur in the Earth's upper … that elves are the most dominant type of TLEs and estimate the global occurrence rates of sprites, halos, and elves to be ∼1, ∼1, and ∼35 events/min, respectively [Chen et al., 2008]. The VLF Group has been deeply involved in TLE research since the subject's orthogonal linear arrays. B., et al., Global distributions and occurrence rates of transient The occurrence of sprites and elves at Jupiter was predicted by several previously published studies. Elves (short for Emission of Light and Very Low Frequency perturbations due to Electromagnetic Pulse Sources) appear as a flattened disk glowing in Earth's upper atmosphere. "We're continuing to look for more telltale signs of elves and sprites every time Juno does a science pass," said Giles. Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. from the top of a thundercloud into the clear air above.
. Published online October 27, 2020. doi: 10.1029/2020JE006659. discovered. 1. The more our team looked into it, the more we realized Juno may have detected a TLE on Jupiter.". luminous events. Research (ONR). Analysis of emissions from elves conducted by Mende et al. induced brightening in the airglow layer. ... are a type of transient luminous event… It is the first time these bright, unpredictable and extremely brief flashes of light – formally known as transient luminous events, or TLE’s – have been observed on another world. Elves and sprites on Jupiter? observational discoveries. Hank Schyma, also known as Pecos Hank, is a musician, songwriter, filmmaker and professional storm chaser based in Houston, Texas.He has fronted the rock group Southern Backtones for over fifteen years. Gigantic jets were first documented in July 2002. Since 1990 there's been an explosion of interest in these glows and flashes in the high sky. sprites. It is the first time these bright, unpredictable and extremely brief flashes of light — … Franz, R. C., R. J. Nemzek, and J. R. Winckler, Television image of a large offered by a thunderstorm was confined to the lightning activity in the novel imaging instrumentation developed and built at Stanford. upward electric discharge above a thunderstorm. but persistent verbal reports of such high-altitude flashes by pilots and The different kinds of flashes were given fanciful names like "sprites" and "elves" to reflect their fleeting and hard-to-catch nature (and to steer clear of names suggesting causative mechanisms which had not yet been pinned down), and the entire category of flashes came to be known as transient luminous events … Examples of various kinds of TLEs are shown in Figure Gerken, E. A., and U. S. Inan, Observations of decameter-scale morphologies in Marshall, R., R. Newsome, and U. Inan, Fast photometric imaging using The findings were published on Oct. 27, 2020, in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. Juno is part of NASA's New Frontiers Program, which is managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. to sprite-producing lightning discharges. Colorado (looking into the US Great Plains), the Magdalena Mountains of New Transient luminous events or TLE’s are electrical discharges which occur high above energetic thunderstorms. and elves with intensified video and broadband array photometry. Marshall, R. A., and U. S. Inan, High-speed telescopic imaging of sprites. New results from NASA's Juno mission at Jupiter suggest that either "sprites" or "elves" could be dancing in the upper atmosphere of the solar system's largest planet. Gerken, E. A., and U. S. Inan, A survey of streamer and diffuse glow dynamics An instrument on the spacecraft may have detected transient luminous events — bright flashes of light in the gas giant’s upper atmosphere. The different kinds of flashes were given fanciful names like During the same period, he has directed, … Lockheed Martin Space in Denver built and operates the spacecraft. Gerken, E. A., U. S. Inan, and C. P. Barrington-Leigh, Telescopic imaging of results from the sprites94 aircraft campaign: 2. blue jets. Questions? Picture: Franklin Lucena. features in sprites: Sizes and lifetimes. Gigantic jets are the rarest of the known Transient Light Events (TLEs), which are upper atmospheric optical phenomena associated with thunderstorms, like red sprites, blue jets and elves. "But on Jupiter, the upper atmosphere mostly consists of hydrogen, so they would likely appear either blue or pink.". Transient luminous events can be broken down into sprites, jets and elves. Then on October 27, Giles’s team also went on to publish a study on these new phenomena in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets entitled Possible Transient Luminous Events Observed in Jupiter’s Atmosphere. While it may sound like something out of a fantasy novel, sprites and elves are actually two types of quick, bright flashes of light, or transient luminous events. Transient Luminous Event (TLE) are flashes and glows that appear above storms that are results of activity occurring in and below those storms. others [Vaughan and Vonnegut, 1989, and references therein]. In fact, these elves and sprites on Jupiter stand as the first of their kind discovered on another world; their kind being transient luminous events, or TLE’s. perimental and modeling studies of transient luminous events (TLEs) in the middle atmo-sphere termed elves, sprites and jets that are produced in association with thunderstorm activity at tropospheric altitudes. Rohini S. Giles, Thomas K. Greathouse, Bertrand Bonfond, G. Randall Gladstone, Joshua A. Kammer, Vincent Hue, Denis C. Grodent, Jean‐Claude Gérard, Maarten H. Versteeg, Michael H. Wong, Scott J. Bolton, John E. P. Connerney, Steven M. Levin. A rotating, solar-powered spacecraft, Juno, arrived at Jupiter in 2016 after making a five-year journey. ScienceDaily. Title: Transient Luminous Events observed in Jupiter's upper atmosphere Author, co-author: Giles, R.; Greathouse, T.K. above a thunderstorm [Franz et al., 1990], following years of intermittent Almost resembling a jellyfish, sprites are transient luminous events triggered by lightning discharges from thunderstorms far below. quasi-electrostatic pre-discharge thundercloud fields. Their colors are distinctive as well. Since then, it has made 29 science flybys of the gas giant, each orbit taking 53 days. Financial support for ScienceDaily comes from advertisements and referral programs, where indicated. R.S. Electrical discharge from a thundercloud top to the lower ionosphere. Wescott, E. M., D. Sentman, D. Osborne, D. Hampton, and M. Heavner, Preliminary Then, in the summer of 2019, researchers working with data from Juno's ultraviolet spectrograph instrument (UVS) discovered something unexpected: a bright, narrow streak of ultraviolet emission that disappeared in a flash. The preferred usage is transient luminous event (TLE), because the various types of electrical-discharge phenomena in the upper atmosphere lack several characteristics of the more famili… NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Near Infrared Photographs and Video Captures with VLF-ELF Radio Emissions. What are known as “sprites” and “elves” are actually Transient Luminous Events (TLEs) that emerge from the upper atmosphere when thunderstorms are brewing and lightning strikes. The atmospheric phenomenona, named after creatures of myth and legend, are examples of so-called transient luminous events (TLEs). "On Earth, sprites and elves appear reddish in color due to their interaction with nitrogen in the upper atmosphere," said Giles. Barrington-Leigh, C. P., U. S. Inan, and M. Stanley, Identification of sprites NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI NASA's Juno spacecraft discovered that Jupiter's atmosphere produces lightning-like electrical outbursts called transient luminous … within a few years a menagerie of different kinds of flashes had been thunderstorm clouds and between the clouds and the ground. of the photograph of the flash stoked a great amount of scientific interest in Named after a mischievous, quick-witted character in English folklore, sprites are transient luminous events triggered by lightning discharges from thunderstorms far below. Juno scientists could also rule out that these were simply mega-bolts of lightning because they were found about 186 miles (300 kilometers) above the altitude where the majority of Jupiter's lightning forms -- its water-cloud layer. And comparing sprites and elves from Jupiter with those here on Earth will help us better understand electrical activity in planetary atmospheres.". Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader: Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks: Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Mexico, Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, Pic du Midi in the French Pyrenees, Preliminary results from the sprites94 aircraft campaign: 1. red sprites. Portions of this material are based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. Upper-atmospheric lightning or ionospheric lightning are terms sometimes used by researchers to refer to a family of short-lived electrical-breakdown phenomena that occur well above the altitudes of normal lightning and storm clouds. The south pole of Jupiter and a potential transient luminous event – a bright, unpredictable, and extremely brief flash of light – is seen in this … Until recently, it was thought that the dazzling display of light These are bizarre, bright flashes of … Have any problems using the site? TLE’s were brought into the spot light in 1988 after researchers by accident imaged a number of sprites over the great … Pasko, V. P., U. S. Inan, T. F. Bell, and Y. N. Taranenko, Sprites produced by and upward discharges in the mesosphere due to intense quasi-electrostatic Chen, A. New results from NASA ’s Juno mission at Jupiter suggest that either “sprites” or “elves” could be dancing in the upper atmosphere of the solar system’s largest planet. They usually are associated with positively charged cloud-to-ground lightning strikes. Synching with these predictions, the 11 large-scale bright events Juno's UVS instrument has detected occurred in a region where lightning thunderstorms are known to form. Locations for Inan, U. S., T. F. Bell, and J. V. Rodriguez, Heating and ionization of the These transient luminous events or TLEs are similar to lightning. Juno data indicates 'sprites' or 'elves' frolic in Jupiter's atmosphere. 1989 with the first scientific documentation of a brilliant optical flash well