Lightning From Space!

Article written: 11 Jun , 2012
Updated: 23 Dec , 2015
by

[/caption]

Here’s an amazing shot of a flash of lightning within storm clouds over west Africa, captured from orbit by ESA astronaut André Kuipers aboard the ISS.

Lightning is a common sight from Space Station, creating a constant light show for the astronaut and cosmonaut crew members. On average, lightning strikes the ground somewhere on Earth 100 times each second, and there are 5 to 10 times as many cloud-to-cloud flashes as there are ground strikes. That adds up to about 40 to 80 million flashes of lightning every day around the world! Considering that the ISS orbits Earth 16 times a day — and from quite a high viewpoint — it stands to reason that lightning is spotted quite often.

So although it may not be rare, lightning still makes for dramatic photos — especially to those of us here on the ground!

For more information on André and his ongoing long-duration PromISSe mission, visit the ESA site here.

Image credit: ESA/NASA

A graphic designer in Rhode Island, Jason writes about space exploration on his blog Lights In The Dark, Discovery News, and, of course, here on Universe Today. Ad astra!

, , , , ,



13 Responses

  1. GardnerDennis says

    my best friend’s sister-in-law got paid $14696 the prior month. she is making money on the inte<!–truth is almight–>rnet and bought a $372500 home. All she did was get blessed and work up the steps uncovered on this link

    ?????? (Click At My Name For Link)

  2. zkank says

    Sprites, elves, blue jets, the frequency…just as amazing as all these images from space is the fact that we haven’t really unsolved very much about lightning!

  3. Member
    Aqua4U says

    “…about 40 to 80 million flashes of lightning every day around the world…” That’s 40-80 million flashes at temperatures of roughly 30000 kelvins (53540 degrees Fahrenheit)! Which by the way, is actually hotter than the surface of the sun! and maybe the source of anti matter particles recently discovered in Earth’s magnetosphere?

    Lightning bolts vary in intensity and duration so most of them are probably not energetic enough to create this effect… except perhaps those occurring above certain geomagnetic features/phenomena, like the mid Atlantic anomaly, or parts of Patagonia during magnetic reversals or antipodal reconnection events in the solar wind?

    • And lightning is itself suspected to be initiated in part from cosmic rays ..

      So , is anti-matter from lightning the cause or the side effect ?

    • And lightning is itself suspected to be initiated in part from cosmic rays ..

      So , is anti-matter from lightning the cause or the side effect ?

    • And lightning is itself suspected to be initiated in part from cosmic rays ..

      So , is anti-matter from lightning the cause or the side effect ?

      • Member
        Aqua4U says

        A WikiUp: “..High-energy cosmic rays impacting Earth’s atmosphere (or any other matter in the Solar System) produce minute quantities of antiparticles in the resulting particle jets..”

        Next question: How efficient is the Earth’s magnetic field in trapping those anti particles? What happens to them? When they collide with matter there is a direct conversion into energy. Does the ‘heat’ in this energetic exchange enable equally minute but accumulative fusion byproducts?

  4. I’ve already seen spectacular African lightning storms from 30,000ft at night and it was a sight to behold and remember…

    • AtkinsVilma says

      my roomate’s mom got paid $ 14828 past week. she is making an incom e on the internet and bought a $481700 house. All she did was get fortunate and put into use the guide exposed on this web site

      ?????? (Click At My Name For Link)
      7

  5. Joe Cazana says

    looks like a distress call for Batman to me

    • MullinsRonnie says

      my friend’s mother-in-law makes $85 every hour on the computer. She has been out of a job for 6 months but last month her paycheck was $19177 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more here

      ?????? (Click At My Name For Link)

  6. mickey_schmidt says

    It would be a valuable photo if the astronauts could coordinate with those researchers on the ground that are studying “red sprites” and the other high energy bolts that reach up into the lower reaches of space. They (the flashes) are of short duration but seeing one from above might be scientifically rewarding.

Comments are closed.