Red Sprites: A Rare Atmospheric Phenomenon
Peter McLeish (Canada)
In the Lecture Hall
In cooperation with the Embassy of Canada to Austria
Address of welcome: Ambassador Dr. John Barrett, Canadian Embassy in Vienna
Red sprites are upper atmospheric optical phenomenon associated with thunderstorms that have
recently been only documented using low level television. The first images of a sprite were taken in 1989 and from 1990 to
1994 the space shuttle obtained twenty more images. Despite nearly a century of anecdotal reports from airline pilots, most
scientists didn't really believe in sprites until the first images were captured on high-speed video. The blink of an eye
last 250 milliseconds: sprites often last only ten. Cameras and computer models freeze sprites in time. Red Sprites were considered
UFOs by pilots before their discovery.
Peter McLeish will discuss the nature of his collaboration based on Red Sprites.
Participants receive free admission to the museum and to the presentation!