Observed emission rates in sprite streamer heads
Article first published online: 6 JUN 2007
Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 34, Issue 11, June 2007
How to Cite
2007), Observed emission rates in sprite streamer heads, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L11105, doi:10.1029/2007GL029881., , , and (
- Issue published online: 6 JUN 2007
- Article first published online: 6 JUN 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 MAY 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 9 APR 2007
- Manuscript Received: 2 MAR 2007
 Sprite observations at 10,000 fps have shown tendrils and branches to be formed by bright streamer heads moving at ∼107 m/s. The streamer heads typically brighten as they move up or down, often saturating the detector. We present here inferred emission rates. The streamer heads are presumably smaller than our 140 m spatial resolution and, therefore, they have to be treated as point sources. The optical emissions are assumed to be dominated by the N2 1P band and comparing with stars in the images we find total emission rates in individual streamer heads ranging from 4 1021 to 3 1024 photons/s. For a 25 m streamer head the range of average brightness would be 9 108–5 1011 R. Alternatively, using a volume emission rate of 8 1011 photons/cm3/s the size range would be 10 to 100 m.