Story posted: Wednesday, 21. November 2007 by Rafael Ben-Ari
Lightning Thunder Strom Israel on Wednsday Nov 21 2007.Lightning is an atmospheric discharge of electricity, which typically occurs during thunderstorms, and sometimes during volcanic eruptions or dust storms. A bolt of lightning can travel at a speed of 220,000 km/h (136,000 mph), and can reach temperatures approaching 30,000 °C (54,000 °F), hot enough to fuse soil or sand into glass channels. There are over 16 million lightning storms every year. Lightning can also occur within the ash clouds from volcanic eruptions, or can be caused by violent forest fires which generate sufficient dust to create a static charge.How lightning initially forms is still a matter of debate: Scientists have studied root causes ranging from atmospheric perturbations (wind, humidity, and atmospheric pressure) to the impact of solar wind and accumulation of charged solar particles.Ice inside a cloud is thought to be a key element in lightning development, and may cause a forcible separation of positive and negative charges within the cloud, thus assisting in the formation of lightning.All photos by Rafael Ben-Ari/Chameleons Eye
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