Volcanoes and Lightning: Together At Last

Every once in a while, we’ll just have so many super cool things to blog about that the slightly less interesting or slightly more time-consuming posts fall by the wayside.

But with Robin out of town for a week, I’m taking this opportunity to catch up and share some tidbits that may be old news, but are definitely still worth passing along.

First, did you check out the amazing image of lightning INSIDE Alaska’s Mount Redoubt?

From what I gather from this article, lightning often flashes during volcanic eruptions. The problem is, it’s hard for scientists to see through the dust and gas to get a good look at what’s happening inside. Now they’re using a Lightning Mapping Array to take a peek at the volcano; something that’s been done only twice before.

And things are paying off. The lightning activity was “as strong or stronger than we have seen in large Midwestern thunderstorms” and the new data will “allow us to better understand the electrical charge structure inside a volcanic plume.”

Image courtesy of Bretwood Higman