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Atmospheric scientist Oscar van der Velde, standing on his balcony in Barcelona, Spain, captured the sprite in spectacular detail on the night of June 5. He was  150 miles away from the storm.

"It was the sixth sprite that night that I could capture, and the second one at this zoom level," said van der Velde, of the Technical University of Catalonia. "This type of sprite is often called a 'carrot.'"


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Looking out the 11th floor window of her law office, Jane Wiggins did a double take and grabbed her camera. The dark, undulating clouds hovering outside were unlike anything she'd seen before.

"It looked like Armageddon. The shadows of the clouds, the lights and the darks, and the greenish-yellow backdrop. They seemed to change."