Lightning

Lightning is a naturally occurring electrostatic discharge during which two electrically charged regions, both in the atmosphere or with one on the ground, temporarily neutralize themselves, causing the instantaneous release of an average of one gigajoule of energy. This discharge may produce a wide range of electromagnetic radiation, from heat created by the rapid movement of electrons, to brilliant flashes of visible light in the form of black-body radiation. Lightning causes thunder, a sound from the shock wave which develops as gases in the vicinity of the discharge experience a sudden increase in pressure. Lightning occurs commonly during thunderstorms as well as other types of energetic weather systems, but volcanic lightning can also occur during volcanic eruptions. The three main kinds of lightning are distinguished by where they occur: either inside a single thundercloud, between two clouds, or between a cloud and the ground.

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‘Bolt from the blue’ is a dangerous form of lighting that travels away from clouds for miles, before striking down — Photographs by storm chaser Mike O’Neill capture this phenomenon, for a visual story about a lightning hotspot

High-powered lasers can be used to steer lightning strikes

Firing Intense Laser Pulses at the Sky Can Divert Lightning

Benjamin Franklin fashioned the first lightning rod in the 18th century. Scientists are now improving on that innovation by employing a high-powered laser. This Laser Lightning Rod could safeguard critical infrastructure including power stations, airports, wind farms and launchpads.

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Stumping the Best Scientists for 50 Years: Physicists Solve a Lightning Mystery

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We May Finally Know How Lightning Gets Its Zigzag Shape

Climate change strikes: Lightning patterns change with global warming

Stunning NASA Photo Captures The Surreal Glow of Lightning And Moonlight

Joining forces: Fast-as-lightning 3D microprinting with two lasers

NASA moon rocket on track for launch despite lightning hits

These NASA photos of lightning strikes at the Artemis 1 moon rocket launch pad are amazing

NASA Artemis I Launch Countdown Commences, Team Assessing Lightning Strikes at Launch Pad