Lightning Sprites: What They Are and Why They Happen
What they are—and why they happen.
They look like red lightning, but that's not what they are. The sprites are actually caused when charged particles collide with atmospheric gases. During a thunderstorm, clouds bump into each other, creating a positive charge. Once that positive charge clashes with the opposite charge that has built up on the ground, a flash of light occurs.
The video above showcases the Weather Channel walking through this phenomenon. Check it out above, and get ready for that weather-related trivia night.