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Watching for sprites

Sprites are best seen by someone watching a retreating thunderstorm move east over empty ground, with little light contamination from cities below.

Ideally you should be about 180 to 240 miles from the storm, which provides enough distance to see well above the clouds. (The eastern edge of the Rockies is a good location.) 

Let your eyes become accustomed to the dark, then patiently watch the skies above the storm. Look for a momentary flicker of red -- some suggest that it's easier seen out of the corner of one's eye than trying to look at one directly. That's a sprite. 


 

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Picture: Courtesy of Dave Sentman/Geophysical Institute/University of Alaska Fairbanks |
Videos: Courtesy of Dave Sentman/Geophysical Institute/University of Alaska Fairbanks |
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