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Very rare, gigantic blue jet over Paraíba, Brazil


Diego Rhamon managed to capture a gigantic jet (giant blue jet) taking place in Campina Grande, Paraíba, Brazil on March 13, 2017. It is the first recording of this elusive weather phenomenon in Brazil.

According to Rhamon, the cumulonimbus cloud that produced this lightning was in the town of Taperoá, 103 km (63 miles) away from Campina Grande, in a straight line. 

Filming was done in his apartment, with PY-SH361 camera, a component of the CPV1 station, of BRAMON (Brazilian Meteorological Observation Network).

YouTube video

Video courtesy Diego Rhamon / BRAMON

Gigantic jets, along with sprites, elves, blue jets and blue starters, are classified as transient luminous events (TLE). They are a type of upper-atmospheric lightning or ionospheric lightning projected from the top of the cumulonimbus above a thunderstorm, typically in a narrow cone, to the lowest levels of the ionosphere 40 to 50 km (25 to 30 miles) above the Earth.

Upper-atmospheric lightning is believed to be electrically induced forms of luminous plasma. The preferred usage is transient luminous event, because the various types of electrical-discharge phenomena in the upper atmosphere lack several characteristics of the more familiar tropospheric lightning.

Blue jets were first recorded on October 21, 1989, on a monochrome video of a thunderstorm on the horizon taken from the Space Shuttle as it passed over Australia. Their color is believed to be due to a set of blue and near-ultraviolet emission lines from neutral and ionized molecular nitrogen. 

In the video below, ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen explains red sprites and blue jets and shows the phenomena clearly – a first of its kind – filmed over India from the International Space Station’s Cupola observatory in September 2015 using the most sensitive camera on the orbiting outpost.

YouTube video

Video courtesy ESA

Featured image credit: Rare, gigantic blue jet over Paraíba, Brazil on March 13, 2017. Credit: Diego Rhamon / BRAMON


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