Red lights appear in the Atacama Desert sky

A new photo taken from La Silla Observatory, part of the European Southern Observatory, shows bright red rays in the sky over Chile's Atacama Desert as mountains frame the landscape

The red rays recorded in the photo are the so-called "sprites", a type of lightning that happens above storm clouds

release electrical discharges capable of reaching altitudes of up to 90 km. the sprites are cooler than the light colored rays we usually see.

Another interesting feature of the photo is the greenish glow near the horizon

This is the so-called airglow (or "air glow"), formed by the action of sunlight: it removes electrons from the nitrogen and oxygen of the Earth's atmosphere during the day, and at night

To see the airglow, it is necessary to give preference to places with a very dark sky, without light pollution .

Fortunately, the photo was taken close to the observatory, installed at an altitude of 2,400 m and with low light pollution, which makes it perfect for recording phenomena like these.