|The very largest and most active thunderstorms sometimes produce "sprites;" elusive, fleeting, very hard-to-see electrical discharges at the uppermost reaches of the atmosphere.
They're so hard to see, they're weren't truly discovered until 1989.
Earlier reports were discounted because sprites don't look at all like regular lightning: they often look something like pink jellyfish!
There are only a few places where they can be seen from the ground --- places like the east slopes of the Rocky Mountains, looking out over the huge storms that form over the plains. And even then, conditions have to be just right.
But the International Space Station has a different perspective, and can see them in a way never before witnessed:
ISS Sprite Story: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=86463&src=eoa-iotd
PBS story: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/earth/edge-of-space.html
More info, images: http://tinyurl.com/nel5dhk
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