United States: what is this mysterious “giant blue jet” observed by scientists?

Scientists have worked on the appearance of “blue jets” seen in early August in Oklahoma (United States). These are bluish flashes that go up towards the ionosphere.

Lightning bolts going up? This is the phenomenon that scientists have recently looked into. Called “blue jets”, these flashes sometimes reach the ionosphere, a region of the atmosphere between 80 and 500 km in altitude, during violent thunderstorms. Some may turn out to be gigantic, reports our colleagues from RTL.

Despite the rarity of this phenomenon, researchers have succeeded in mapping one from a landfill produced in Oklahoma (United States). Their discovery was notably published on August 3 in the scientific journal Science Advances, quotes RTL

“This gigantic three-dimensional jet”

The author of the article Levi Boggs, a researcher at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, spoke about his research. “We were able to map this gigantic jet in three dimensions with very high quality data,” he said.

“Most of the gigantic jets emanated from tropical maritime environments, typically over the ocean and at low latitudes, during hurricane season when ocean surface temperatures are high. high cloud tops (15 to 18 km a.s.l.), often exceeding the tropopause, which is a characteristic of severe convection”, is written in the review, quoted by RTL.

What is the color of these flashes? They are made up of cold plasma, their blue color being due to the ionization of nitrogen atoms, points out Futura Sciences. The news site also states that the blue jets send nearly 300 coulombs of electrical charge into the ionosphere, while a typical lightning carries less than 5 coulombs.

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