Russian astronomer-amateur captures celestial phenomena

What can you see in the sky for one dark Ural night? As fresh experience has shown – almost everything: sprites, elves, aurora, own glow of the atmosphere, slow and bright meteors, splitting into fragments … There is not enough of noctilucent clouds and even a couple of kinds of high-altitude electric discharges.

All this happened on the night of 15 to 16 August, when I purposefully decided to hunt for sprites and accompanying phenomena. Then there were suitable conditions – in the territory of the Tyumen region and Khanty-Mansiysk, at a distance of 300 to 700 kilometers from the observation point, several storm foci were active.

It was possible to catch two kinds of high-altitude discharges – namely three groups of sprites and two large elfs. In general, their activity was not too high in comparison with previous cases, perhaps most of them hid “cloudy” the middle-tiered clouds in the right direction.

The glow of the atmosphere and the Perseids manifested themselves immediately, instantly hitting the camera lenses. Soon I noticed the jump in the magnetometer readings in Amderma – as it turned out, I missed the first surge of geomagnetic activity, doing the adjustment of cameras. A trial image of the northern horizon revealed a weak arc of the polar aurora, after which I left the camera to monitor it in the interval shooting mode.

The bright and slow meteor, which traced almost half the sky and fell apart into fragments, I found already when scanning records, but it became a direct witness of other events – including the “fragmentation” meteor around the Pleiades and the bright Perseid with the ionization trace.

In just one night in the Sverdlovsk region, it was possible to shoot in the photo and video almost all rare atmospheric phenomena, including sprites, elves, the own glow of the atmosphere, meteor splits and even the aurora shattered into fragments.

Location: Irbit neighborhood, Sverdlovsk Region.
Date: night from August 15 to August 16, 2018
Sprites: 00:00 – 00:19, 00:25 – 00:32, 00:45 – 00:55
Elves: 00:20, 00:33
Lanterns: 00:38 – 00:44
Meteors: 00:56 – 01:30
Polar lights: 01:31 – 01:41
Own glow of the atmosphere: 01:20, 01:42 – 01:51
The sum of meteor, aurora and sprites frames: 01:52 – 02:00
Composite snapshot of sprites and elf: 02:01 – 02:24