Eerie ring of red light flashes like a massive UFO above Italy. What was it?

Do not click on embedded link in the page this takes you to. The article has no image of a sprite and it also has malware. Be very alert when on livescience dot com.

This quote from the story is misleading: "When electrons from within the EMP hit the ionosphere, the charged particles excite nitrogen atoms which then give off the reddish glow."

It implies that the lightning stroke sends elecrons into the ionosphere which then excite nitrogen atoms. Rather, the lightning stroke generates an EMP which reaches the ionosphere and then accelerates local free electrons into colliding with nitrogen atoms. There is no travel of electrons from the location of the lightning strike to the ionosphere.
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