Talk:Sprite (lightning)

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Singular title[edit]

I've made the move per convention. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 14:25, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Origin of the name Sprite[edit]

The phenomena were named after the mischievous sprite Puck in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. This doesn't make sense - they are named after sprites, of which Puck was one. Sprites the term/concept came first, then Puck. As far as I can see, Puck has nothing to do with it! You should remove that bit unless you can re-write it so it makes sense and provide a source while you're about it. Otherwise, interesting article, v g. (talk) 18:52, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

The line has been slightly rewritten. I have been unable to find a source concerning the naming of sprites, which will prevent the article from being GANed. If anyone out there knows of one, include it within the article. Thegreatdr (talk) 15:37, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

I think you're being pedantic. As the coiner of the term "sprite" for these events I can assure you the phraseology reflects the actual thinking that led to the name. The connection was first to Puck the character, but naming them "Pucks" didn't seem like a good idea so they were named after the general class, of which Puck was one. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Eastview (talkcontribs) 08:15, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Good. You coined the phrase. Point us to the reference. Thegreatdr (talk) 13:43, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

How can I do that? Do you mean a published reference with someone else crediting me with coining the phrase and relating it to Puck? Eastview (talk) 05:24, 12 March 2009 (UTC)]

I mean any published reference which talks about naming of sprites. It doesn't need to credit you per se, just talk about how they were named sprites. Otherwise, that line will need to be removed from the article, per MoS, if we submit this for GAN or FAC. Thegreatdr (talk) 15:33, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
OK, done. Eastview (talk) 01:18, 21 March 2009 (UTC)]

The reference currently cited (Sentman et al., 1995) does talk briefly about the naming of sprites, but says nothing about Puck, so the statement is still unsupported. Also, the Wikipedia article on "Upper Atmospheric Lightning" makes a contradictory statement: "The phenomena were named after the mischievous sprite (air spirit) Ariel in Shakespeare's The Tempest." Actually, Ariel would make more sense than Puck, as Puck is a woodland sprite, while Ariel is a spirit of the air. Phorse (talk) 17:21, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

I don't know who put the material in the Upper Atmospheric Lightning section about Ariel being the inspiration for the name "sprite," but clearly he/she had no knowledge about the actual circumstances surrounding the origin of the name and was simply making it up. I have changed the sentence in that section to refer to Puck. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Eastview (talkcontribs) 22:50, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

So both articles now make the same claim --- but the connection to Puck is still unsupported. Don't you have some reference for sprites being named after Puck? The cited reference only says the phenomena were named sprites "after their elusive nature" or "after their elusive qualities". Also the phrasing "the mischievous sprite (air spirit) Puck" is inaccurate. Sprites are not necessarily air spirits --- some are, but there are also woodland sprites and water sprites. Shakespeare's Puck does not specifically seem to be an "air spirit" --- Shakespeare does not mention him flying, for example, and he is often represented as not having wings. How about just saying instead: "Several years after their discovery, they were named 'sprites' after their elusive nature" ? Phorse (talk) 06:23, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Mechanism of production[edit]

Can we say what is known or conjectured about how the lighting causes the downwards and upwards moving components ? - Rod57 (talk) 10:31, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Sprites and Cosmic rays?[edit]

I recall reading many years ago, that these sort of things that occurred above lightning were triggered by cosmic rays (or possibly that may have been cosmic ray showers). The theory went that the cloud was almost ready to discharge lightning to the ground or another cloud, a ray/shower occurred which ionized the air above the cloud, creating a path that was suddenly more conductive, so instead of the discharge going to ground or another cloud, it went up along the ionisation path. There is nothing like that in this article. So.... is this theory dead? (This question asked in both Upper-atmospheric lightning and Sprite). (talk) 09:28, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

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