We have all witnessed the spectacular light show that comes with a thunderstorm. There are three commonly recognized forms of lightning, the most common being cloud to ground lightning. The other two are cloud to air and cloud to cloud lightning.
However, there is another form of lightning that we are still trying to fully understand, sprites, or red sprites, also know as cold plasma lightning. They are electrical discharges that occur high above thunderstorm clouds that usually appear as luminous reddish-orange flashes that, instead of striking down, shoot up instead.
Sprites are associated with various other upper-atmospheric optical phenomena including blue jets and ELVES (another form of upper atmosphere lightning).