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Researchers Unravel Mystery of Lightning Diversity

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Old 03-31-2008
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Researchers Unravel Mystery of Lightning Diversity
coondoggie writes to tell us that researchers from Penn State and New Mexico Tech have unraveled the mystery of lightning diversity. A new "Lightning Mapping Array" has been able to show detailed models on how lightning acts. "About 90% of lightning occurs inside clouds and is not visible to the casual observer, researchers said. The researchers wondered if lightning that appears within clouds and the lightning that escapes upward or downward shared the same development mechanisms, researchers said. Lightning forms in clouds when different areas of the cloud become either positively or negatively charged. Once the electric field near a charged area exceeds a certain propagation level, lightning occurs. The type of lightning depends on where the charge builds and where the imbalance in charge exists in the clouds. The mechanism behind different types of lightning is what the new model shows, researchers said."Read more of this story at Slashdot.
http://rss.slashdot.org/~a/Slashdot/slashdot?i=buwV2W


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