Huge sinkhole threatens to swallow Mexican home

A giant sinkhole that was expanding by dozens of meters each day has alarmed residents in a rural area of central Mexico where it was threatening to swallow a house.

The curious incident of Swarm and sprites in the night-time

We are all familiar with the bolts of lightning that accompany heavy storms. While these flashes originate in storm clouds and strike downwards, a much more elusive type forms higher up in the atmosphere and shoots up towards ...

Kazakhstan says 350 rare antelopes killed by lightning

Kazakhstan said Friday that around 350 critically endangered Saiga antelopes had been killed, probably by lightning, after villagers found their bodies in steppe land in the west of the country.

Upward lightning takes its cue from nearby lightning events

In the chaos of a thunderstorm, upward moving lightning occasionally springs from the tops of tall structures. Scientists don't fully understand how upward lightning is triggered; it is likely a combination of multiple environmental ...

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Lightning

Lightning is an atmospheric discharge of electricity accompanied by thunder, which typically occurs during thunderstorms, and sometimes during volcanic eruptions or dust storms. In the atmospheric electrical discharge, a leader of a bolt of lightning can travel at speeds of 60,000 m/s (130,000 mph), and can reach temperatures approaching 30,000 °C (54,000 °F), hot enough to fuse silica sand into glass channels known as fulgurites which are normally hollow and can extend some distance into the ground. There are some 16 million lightning storms in the world every year.

Lightning can also occur within the ash clouds from volcanic eruptions, or can be caused by violent forest fires which generate sufficient dust to create a static charge.

How lightning initially forms is still a matter of debate: Scientists have studied root causes ranging from atmospheric perturbations (wind, humidity, friction, and atmospheric pressure) to the impact of solar wind and accumulation of charged solar particles. Ice inside a cloud is thought to be a key element in lightning development, and may cause a forcible separation of positive and negative charges within the cloud, thus assisting in the formation of lightning.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA