If you blink you'll miss them, but red sprites recently exploded so big over an Iowa thunderstorm that they were seen by a photographer in Missouri who captured video of the phenomenon.

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Dan Bush of the Missouri Skies YouTube channel had a camera pointed at the skies to the north of his location in Albany, Missouri. He was in the right place at the right time as the storm produced red sprites above the tumultuous atmosphere. Even though Dan's camera was many miles south of the storm, the sprite display was easily visible numerous times.

What exactly is a red sprite anyway?

As Wikipedia points out, a sprites above a thunderstorm are "large-scale electric discharges that occur in the mesosphere, high above thunderstorm clouds, or cumulonimbus, giving rise to a varied range of visual shapes flickering in the night sky."

The Old Farmer's Almanac calls red sprites TLE's or "Transient Luminous Events. You'll only see this phenomenon over big thunderstorms, but they are common to the Midwest, just not commonly photographed. That's one of the many reasons you'll want to follow Missouri Skies on YouTube for rare captures of weather over the middle of America.

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