Forget purple rain, it’s purple lightning! Photographer Jeff Miles had the extraordinary opportunity to capture a rare celestial phenomenon that created a breathtaking vision against the night sky. The photographs taken near the small town of Pilbara in Western Australia depict a colorful violet stream shooting out against the deep blue backdrop, while a raging storm illuminates the clouds below.
This remarkable phenomenon is known as ionospheric lightning, which occurs at significantly higher altitudes than normal lightning or storm clouds. Unlike traditional lightning, these electrical discharges take place above the altitudes typically associated with storms. Experts refer to this family of short-lived electrical-breakdown phenomena as upper atmospheric lightning or ionospheric lightning. It is believed to be an electrically induced form of luminous plasma.
Jeff Miles expressed his astonishment, stating, “This was a mind-blowing experience to witness with my own eyes, let alone research the photos to understand just how rare they are. Gigantic jets have only been captured on camera a few times, and on this particular night, I was fortunate enough to witness six jets.”
The stunning photographs showcase the vibrant violet stream emanating from the top of a cloud. The vivid flash stands out vividly against the deep blue night sky, while the storm below casts an illuminating glow on the clouds. The rarity and mesmerizing beauty of this phenomenon make it a sight to behold.
Jeff Miles’s photographs serve as a testament to the awe-inspiring wonders of nature. They remind us of the hidden marvels that can be found in the skies above, often waiting to be discovered by those with a keen eye and a deep appreciation for the extraordinary.