Questions for “Space station sensors saw how weird ‘blue jet’ lightning forms”

blue jet illustration

The International Space Station discovered the source of a weird type of lightning called a blue jet (illustrated). This lightning shoots up from a thundercloud into a layer of the atmosphere called the stratosphere.

DTU Space, Daniel Schmelling/Mount Visual

To accompany “Space station sensors saw how weird ‘blue jet’ lightning forms


Before Reading:

1.  Name three attributes of lightning.

2.  How many different types of lightning can you name?

During Reading:

1.  Based on the story, what is a blue jet?

2.  What makes blue jets weird?

3.  Where in the atmosphere do they exist (i.e., at what altitudes)?

4.  According to Torsten Neubert, how do blue jets start?

5.  What atmospheric conditions might allow these jets to form, according to Neubert?

6.  According to Victor Pasko, why do scientists care how or why such phenomena exist?

After Reading:

1.  Do some research and name at least three different types of lightning. Describe how each forms.

2.  Could blue jets cause thundersnow? Why or why not? (If you need more information on thundersnow to answer this, consult our explainer.)

Lillian Steenblik Hwang is the associate digital editor for Science News for Explores. She has a bachelor's degree in biology (and a minor in chemistry) from Georgia State University and a master's degree in in science journalism from Boston University.