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Lightning captured at 7,000 fps

Lightning captured at 7,000 fp...
Lightning works its way towards the ground in Florida Institute of Technology's video
Lightning works its way towards the ground in Florida Institute of Technology's video
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Lightning works its way towards the ground in Florida Institute of Technology's video
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Lightning works its way towards the ground in Florida Institute of Technology's video

Researchers at the Florida Institute of Technology have snapped stunning images of lightning at 7,000 frames per second while testing a new high-speed camera.

The camera will be used to gain a better understanding of jets, gigantic jets and starters projecting upwards from thunderstorms in the upper atmosphere. It was trained on a thunderstorm close to the university's Melbourne campus during tests when it captured the images.

Lightning Storm Recorded at 7000 Frames Per Second

Although operating at 7,000 fps when Professor Ningyu Liu captured the lightning, the footage has been adjusted to 700 fps for playback. We see fingers of lightning break from the clouds and edge towards the earth, before one hits the ground and explodes in a flash.

Cloud-to-ground lightning is caused by a buildup of negatively-charged air at the bottom of storm clouds. As it rushes toward the ground, the lightning repels other negatively charged particles, attracting positive charges from the ground below.

The footage is courtesy of the Geospace Physics Laboratory, Department of Physics and Space Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology.

Source: Florida Institute of Technology via Eurekalert

3 comments
Milton
so much for lightning starting from the ground and working its way to the sky.
Jay Finke
Think there's two types of lightning, cloud to ground and ground to cloud, would like to see the ground to cloud ?
Ralf Biernacki
@Jay: As the video shows, lightning starts with a "leader" which makes its way from the cloud to the ground, opening an ionized path. Once the path is established, the main discharge follows much more quickly along that path (the bright flash of light in the movie), traveling from the ground to the cloud. The ground-to-cloud is faster and much more energetic, but it relies on the cloud-to-ground leader to open up the path first.