Ever wondered how lightning looks like from outer space? Well, wonder no more.
In light of the Firestation – an instrument that detects brief bursts of terrestrial gamma-ray flashes to observe and measure lightning flashes – being added to the International Space Station (ISS) late last year so they could learn more about what triggers lightning during thunderstorms, NASA has been sharing some photos of lightning flashes captured from outers space (like this one taken over California and this over the Middle East).
But its this up-close and personal photo above that’s been taking the social media – Reddit and Twitter, in particular – by storm. Not that we can blame them. Captured by an astronaut orbiting over Bolivia in January 2011, this image is of a white lightning flash beneath a thunderhead (a dense cloud often associated with thunderstorms) hovering over some city lights. It’s an awesome photograph that perfectly exhibits one of the universe’s many wonders.
The photo was captured pre-Firestation. To learn about the instrument and how it can help shed light on how lightning work, read more about it here.