High-Speed Camera Captures Lightning Flash In Extreme Slow Motion

Posted: May 25 2016, 9:07pm CDT | by , Updated: May 25 2016, 10:28pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
High-Speed Camera Captures Lightning Flash in Extreme Slow Motion
Credit: Florida Institute of Technology

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Spectacular slo-mo footage shows that a series of vein-like patterns descends from the cloud before creating a powerful lightning flash.

Lightning appears terrifying when it snakes from the sky and strikes the ground, but a new slow-motion video has made it look absolutely stunning.

Using a high speed camera, scientists at Florida Institute of Technology have captured a beautiful lightning flash as it strikes down from the sky.

The flash was recorded at 7,000 frames per second while the playback speed is adjusted to 700 frames per second. The footage was filmed on May 20 near the University’s Melbourne Campus and is aimed to test the abilities of new high speed camera to its fullest potential. It will also help scientists understand the dynamics and energetics of lightning bolts.

The footage reveals the way the charged particles move in vein-like patterns as they descend from the cloud just prior to exploding into an extreme flash.

“Lightning is one of the most fascinating atmospheric phenomena on Earth. However, little is known about how lightning starts in thunderclouds, moves through air, and then strikes objects on ground.” Professor Ningyu Liu from the Florida Institute of Technology told Mail Online.

Lightning is an electric current which builds up within the storm cloud and is caused by an electrical discharge of electrons moving extremely quickly from one place to another. A bolt of lightning strikes somewhere on Earth almost four million times a day, almost one flash per second. For something so common, lighting still holds mystery and fascination.

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