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Title

On the Emergence Mechanism of Carrot Sprites

AuthorsMalagón Romero, Alejandro; Teunissen, J.; Stenbaek-Nielsen, H. C.; McHarg, M. G.; Ebert, U.; Luque, Alejandro
KeywordsAngel sprite
Carrot sprite
Column sprite
Upward streamer
Issue Date2020
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
CitationGeophysical Research Letters 47: e85776 (2020)
AbstractWe investigate the launch of negative upward streamers from sprite glows. This phenomenon is readily observed in high-speed observations of sprites and underlies the classification of sprites into carrot or column types. First, we describe how an attachment instability leads to a sharply defined region in the upper part of the streamer channel. This region has an enhanced electric field, low conductivity and strongly emits in the first positive system of molecular nitrogen. We identify it as the sprite glow. We then show how, in the most common configuration of a carrot sprite, several upward streamers emerge close to the lower boundary of the glow, where negative charge gets trapped and the lateral electric field is high enough. These streamers cut off the current flowing toward the glow and lead to the optical deactivation of the glow above. Finally, we discuss how our results naturally explain angel sprites. ©2019. The Authors.
DescriptionThis is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2019GL085776
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/209567
DOI10.1029/2019GL085776
ISSN0094-8276
Appears in Collections:(IAA) Artículos
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