Amateur astronomer Timo Kantola has become the first in Finland to take photographs of transient luminous objects. His pictures of elves and red sprite forms of lightning were taken in Pieksämäki and represent the most northern images of the phenomena. The photos have been published in the latest issue of the Finnish astronomical journal Tähdet ja avaruus. Kantola’s pictures show elves and red sprite forms of lightning at distances of up to 100 kilometres above cloud formations. Such transient luminous events were first discovered in the United State in 1989. They are triggered by the discharges of positive lightning between thunderclouds and the ground and range from 10 to 100km in height. Normal lightning occurs below this level. Timo Kantola took the pictures using an automatic camera in early October. Later the images were confirmed as rare views of elves and red sprite forms of upper atmospheric discharges.