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What are red sprites and blue jets? – How It Works
Red sprites and blue jets are both atmospheric and electrical phenomena that take place in the upper atmosphere. They take place above normal lightning; Blue jets happen in cone shapes above thunderstorm clouds, and are not related to lightning. They’re blue due to ionised emissions from nitrogen. Red sprites can appear as different shapes and have hanging tendrils. They occur when positive lightning goes from the cloud to the ground.
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Lightning has four known types: in-cloud, cloud-to-cloud (as seen here), cloud to ground (most common), and cloud to air (denied by scientists until it was photographed). In weather terminology, a full set of all types would be coded as ICCCCGCA. (This photo appears to be a volcanic ash cloud.)