The European Southern Observatory (ESO), launched a spectacular photograph of the skies of the chilean desertcaptured by the La Silla Observatory, are red fairies (red sprites), which are bright streaks seen in the clear night sky.
What are red fairies? According to ESO itself «these are an elusive form of lightning that occur high above storm clouds, discharging electricity high in the Earth’s atmosphere at an altitude of 50-90 km . In addition to occurring much higher in the sky than regular lightning, it is cooler than the white lightning we usually see and appears much fainter. Red sprites are very difficult to catch – the first photographic evidence of them was only taken in 1989.”
Zdenek Bardon is the author of this spectacular photograph and ESO also complements it with the following information:
“Apparently painted in the background of the photograph is a shade of green, known as air glow. During the day, sunlight removes electrons from nitrogen and oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere, and at night, these electrons recombine with atoms and molecules, causing them to glow. Airglow can usually only be seen in very dark skies where there is no light pollution,” he adds.