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November 10, 1995
Lightning and the Space Shuttle
There are many things about
that are not understood. Lightning has been seen in the atmospheres of
Saturn. A leading theory is that collisions of
particles in clouds cause large areas of positive and negative charge.
When large oppositely charged areas get close enough together, electrons
and/or ions race between them and create a path where more charged
particles can follow - lightning. On average, over 100 lightning strikes
occur every second over the surface of the
Earth. Here lightning strikes
near a Space Shuttle before
launch. Lightning can be
extremely dangerous -
stay out of open areas during thunderstorms.
Tomorrow's picture: Red Sprite Lightning
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Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.:
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