Latest Lightning Stories
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Mysterious green lightning, seen emerging from an ash cloud in images of a May 2008 volcanic eruption in Chile, is likely more common than we realize.
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NASA is preparing to launch an inexpensive, football-sized probe to study lightning, including its effects on the atmosphere and the possible link between the phenomenon and powerful energy bursts known as terrestrial gamma ray flashes.
NASA’s FireStation instrument aboard the International Space Station (ISS) is helping scientists learn more about the party taking place inside a thunderstorm.
Using a simple magnetic compass and a little ingenuity, researchers have found that lighting strikes have a far greater impact on mountaintops than previously thought.
A detectable electrification of the air is caused by electrical currents born from thunderstorms. These currents flow through the atmosphere and around the globe, even in places with no thunderstorm activity.
When we think of thunderstorms we have to remember the deadliest part of those storms and that is the lightning that occurs with them. Lightning is found in many forms. The first type of lightning is known as cloud to cloud meaning that the electric charge travels from one cloud to the other. The second type of lightning is the Cloud to Air meaning the lighting moves from the cloud and enters the clear air of the sky. A third type of lightning is the cloud to ground. This is the most...
A lightning rod is a metal conductor mounted on the top of a building and connected through a wire to the ground to protect the building from lightning. The rod should conduct the electricity from a lightning strike down through the wire instead of passing through the building. The rod is just a single component in the lightning protections system along with rooftop conductors and multiple conductive paths. Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning rod in 1749. The taller the building the...
Heat Lightning is actually faint flashes of lightning reflecting outward from distant thunderstorms. These flashes usually do not produce thunder as the storm is sometimes too far away to be heard. The term heat lightning got its name because it often occurs on hot summer nights and does not produce audible thunder. One reason heat lightning can be seen so far away is due to the reflection of the light bouncing off water particles in moist, humid air and as light is scattered throughout the...
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