Physics

Dark lightning

Print edition : May 17, 2013

Three images of the same thundercloud depicting a less-than-10-millisecond-long sequence of events: (left) formation within cloud of a small channel, or "leader", of electrical conductivity (yellow line) with weak emission of radio signals (ripples); (middle) a burst of both dark lightning (pink) and radio waves (larger ripples); (right) a discharge of bright lightning and more radio waves. Photo: Studio Gohde

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