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Astronaut captures the rare phenomenon of 'red sprites' from space and it's absolutely stunning

The image taken from the International Space Station shows a spectacular view of the unusual lightning phenomenon.

Astronaut captures the rare phenomenon of 'red sprites' from space and it's absolutely stunning
Cover Image Source: X | @dominickmatthew

Looking at the wonders of nature is always a blissful experience. Even the scariest phenomenon in nature has its own beauty. All it takes is a good angle and a creative eye to capture it in a pleasing way. No one has a better view of our space than the astronauts who are looking down at us from hundreds of miles above. Recently, one such astronaut Matthew Dominick @dominickmatthew shared on X the view of a rare lightning phenomenon from the International Space Station (ISS). This perfectly-times image from space is both scary and jaw-droppingly beautiful showing us what nature is capable of.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Janusz Walczak
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Janusz Walczak

The image shared by the astronaut shows a series of bright white flashes of lightning along with streaks of bright red lines among them. The sky above the coast of South Africa witnessed one of the most unusual natural events termed as, "red sprites." Dominick wrote in the caption, "Super lucky a few weeks ago when shooting a timelapse of a lightning storm off the coast of South Africa. One of the frames in the timelapse had a red sprite. A rare event. My knowledge is pretty much just from Wikipedia but I want to know more." 


The post gained over 140K views and people were awestruck by this phenomenon. "If there are any red sprite experts out there I would enjoy tips on how to capture more of these. Clearly, look for lightning storms, but I’m thinking the stronger the storm the better and over water might help see them better," Dominick added in the thread. To see such a scarily humungous occurrence as tiny little flashes of light is an incredible sight. However, there's more to these red sprites. These red-colored lightning flashes occur only during extreme cases of thunderstorms, as per While lightning flashes usually move down from the clouds and touch the Earth's surface, these red sprites move up from the clouds and into the atmosphere.


Dominick was launched to the ISS during March this year and he was the commander of the SpaceX Crew-8 mission of NASA. Currently, he is serving as a flight engineer on the space station orbiting the Earth and is expected to spend a total of 6 months up there to conduct science experiments. He often shared some incredible views of natural occurrences from miles above our planet and apart from these rare red sprites, his view of the Northern lights was another wonderful sight.


The timelapse video of the Aurora stuns the viewers as the space laboratory passes through a bright green blanket of light. At one point, a streak of the Northern lights perfectly aligned with the Starliner spacecraft. "We have been looking at Aurora out the cupola windows a lot lately. Starliner was doing some testing today so we decided to check it out from the Dragon windows. The timing was great for the Aurora to line up nicely with Starliner’s service module thrusters," the caption read. This unique and well-timed image garnered over 1 million views and people were in awe of nature's work of art.

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