The first information about lightning that strikes upwards and not into the ground was recorded by meteorologists in the 1920s. However, those findings were considered incorrect. Such lightning strikes were studied by scientists around the world, but were not confirmed. This natural phenomenon was also recorded during the flight of a Mig-21 fighter in 1974. It was only scientifically confirmed that lightning can strike upwards into the electrosphere in the 1980s.
The Russian microsatellite "Tatyana" also recorded this phenomenon. This phenomenon may undeniably be a source of danger for aircraft, as it is unpredictable and does not depend on weather conditions. Flights above high thunderstorm clouds are very dangerous, as the power of the lightning is very high.
Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen was lucky enough to shoot lightning striking outer space, a so called "blue jet", during an experiment on the International Space Station. According to the scientist, it is the first time this phenomenon has been filmed.
Channel "Lightning", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qT0flZbWo3k
A storm cloud should be higher than the troposphere in order for such "super-lightning" to form. In this case, its top should reach the height of 12-15 km. From an electrical point of view, it is easier for a cloud to discharge itself upwards, than downwards.
Lightning is usually understood to be a giant spark. Discharge into the ground is a characteristic of sparks. In the upper atmosphere, a spark discharge turns into a glow discharge. That is why this lightning is characterized as a long-lasting discharge column. This explains the origin of the natural phenomenon.
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