Witnessing a thunderstorm is one of the most incredible natural phenomenons to behold, but have you ever seen one from space?
Recently, the European Space Agency released footage taken on the International Space Station that shows the electrical activity of a thunderstorm from above. As reported in the European Space Agency press release, the footage shows an unusual phenomenon called blue jets in which blue-colored lightning blasts shoot upward from storm clouds into the highest regions of the stratosphere.
After a few quick flashes of light, the video then shows rings of electrical activity that burst outward from a storm way up in the ionosphere. Scientists call these rings “elves,” and they are rare to see in space because they pass so quickly.
These high-altitude storms have long been extremely hard to understand, but thanks to the European Space Agency’s Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM), we’re started to get an understand of how lightning originates and even how storms can distribute greenhouse gases through the atmosphere.
If you want to see footage from the storm and learn more about this otherworldly phenomenon, have a look right here.