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2005-01-19 17:15:00

An unprecedented flash observed by the space shuttle Columbia crew in 2003 over the Indian Ocean may be a new type of transient luminous event, like lightning sprites, but one that is not necessarily caused by a thunderstorm. The discharge was observed less than two weeks before the shuttle was lost during its Earth reentry.


Word of the Day
upstander
  • A person who stands up for something, as contrasted to a bystander who remains inactive.
  • One of the upright handlebars on a traditional Inuit sled.
The word 'upstander' in the first sense here is a play on the word 'bystander' and the idea of 'standing up' for something.