Rare 'red sprite' spotted from International Space Station

Red Sprite as Seen from International Space Station
Red Sprite as Seen from International Space Station

Astronauts on board the International Space Station are treated to stunning views of Earth on a near daily basis, but a 'red sprite' could impress even the most jaded space traveler.

The spectacle is created when a short electric burst occurs above a highly active thunderstorm. Experts say this one is nearly six miles wide and 30 miles tall.

Nitrogen gas gives them their red color -- but when closer to a thunder cloud, they often look blue.

With its long tendrils, a red sprite looks like a giant red jelly fish in the sky. But, since they occur about 50 miles above the earth and are often obscured by storms, they're rarely seen on land.

Just another treat astronauts enjoy that us land-dwellers don't often get to see. Check out some of the other amazing sights from space in the gallery below:

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