08/08/2013 06:11 BST | Updated 08/08/2013 06:12 BST

Sprite Lightning Caught On High-Speed Film Shows Mysterious Phenomena In Amazing Detail (VIDEO)

Sprite lightning is a mysterious phenomenon and by its very nature is extremely difficult to study but not one but two have been captured on film recently.

The flashes only occurs at very high altitudes above thunderstorms and last only for a fraction of a second.

And they're also red and a weird carrot-esque shape.

Last month the Armagh Observatory captured this image of sprite lightning.

This was then surpassed in quality by this 10,000 frames per second super high-speed film of a burst over the skies of Boulder, Colorado.

The film was taken by astrophotographer, Jason Ahrns, who was on a plane specially equipped to hunt sprite lightning for the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s Research Aircraft Facility.

Despite being nearly as old as the Earth itself, sprite lightning was only discovered by accident in 1989.

Research into sprite lightning is still relatively new and little is definitively known.

Sprite lightning as seen from the International Space Station

It has been suggested they form as a result of positively charged lightning strikes hitting the ground and leaving a negatively charged thunder cloud in the sky.

This then creates the conditions for the sprite's charge to form.