Student's sprite images go viral

August 19, 2013


Sprites captured over Nebraska by J. AhrnsRecent sprite images captured by Jason Ahrns, a graduate student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, have gone viral. The doctoral candidate has taken part in a sprite imaging campaign over the Midwest from late July through August 13. However, due to Ahrn's captivating blog and Flickr site, media requests keep rolling in. 


Ahrns' sprite photos and video were covered by The Washington Post, National Public Radio and a myriad of news outlets in Alaska and the Midwest.


Sprite research is nothing new to the Geophysical Institute. Faculty and students here pioneered research on the phenomena back in the 1990s, under Dave Sentman. Don Hampton, a research assistant professor at GI, dedicated some of his time as a student to sprite imaging work back then. Now, he's the advisor for Ahrns.


In a recent email, Hampton said, "It's is actually kind of fun that a new generation of researchers are working on them now."


Ahrns worked with Professor Emeritus of Geophysics and GI Associate Director Hans Nielsen and scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research on the recent campaign. 


Visit Jason Ahrns' photos at and


PHOTO CAPTION/CREDIT: Sprites pictured above Red Willow County in Nebraska, captured by J. Ahrns.