Summer Lightning

While waiting for skies to darken at a star party near Keota, Colorado last month, I directed my scope and camera toward a summer thunderstorm plowing across the plains.  Photographer: Robert Arn

Its accompanying lightning; especially the cloud-to-ground lightning was quite dramatic. As shown above in a time lapse photo, a dozen or more strokes were recorded in less than half a minute. Each bolt typically generates 100,000,000 volts of electricity, and the more energetic strikes can reach temperatures of 54,000 degrees F (30,000 C). Before too long, the storm moved off, and I was able to turn my attention to the clearing and darkening sky. Photo taken on August 6, 2010.

via epod