For the first time, scientists have redirected lightning using a laser beam. And that’s just the start of what’s possible.
Scientists Can Now Map Lightning in 3D
A new approach enables meter-scale localization of lightning strikes. And it’s already illuminating the basic physics of the phenomenon.
New Crowdsourced Science Project Will Study Sprites
The NASA-funded project is asking sky gazers, storm chasers, and scientists to capture photos of sprites and other optical phenomena that flash above thunderclouds after a lightning strike.
Salt Spray May Stifle Lightning over the Sea
New research suggests that sea-salt aerosols seed large raindrops that starve clouds of water needed to make lightning. But not all scientists are convinced it’s simply about salt spray.
Gigantic Jet of Lightning Mapped over Oklahoma
The most powerful gigantic jet ever recorded fortuitously appeared over a sensor array in Oklahoma, enabling scientists to map the structure of the phenomenon for the first time.
Lightning in Alaskan Tundra Ignites Most Fires
Cloud-to-ground lightning is found to be the most important controller of wildfire occurrence in the Artic tundra of Alaska from 2001 to 2019.
Lightning Had Difficulty Forming in Early Earth’s Atmosphere
Lightning could have sparked the beginnings of life, but the primordial atmosphere might have made it more difficult for lightning to initiate.
Cleaner Pandemic Air Led to Reduced Lightning Strikes Worldwide
As people stayed home during the COVID-19 lockdowns, air quality improved. But the improvement was accompanied by an unusual meteorological side effect: a decrease in lightning.
Lightning Tames Typhoon Intensity Forecasting
Typhoons regularly drench densely populated western Pacific regions, but lightning could forecast intensity more than a day before a storm’s strength peaks.
Have You Seen Ball Lightning? Scientists Want to Know About It
Reports of ghostly spheres of light are often too qualitative. These scientists want your detailed accounts.