Amazing photo shows three types of lightning and 100 lightning strikes
A photographer has captured a dramatic storm where three different types of lightning can be seen as 100 bolts light up the sky
READING LEVEL: GREEN
An amazing photograph has captured 100 lightning strikes and three different types of lightning in less than one hour during a severe thunderstorm in Turkey.
Astrophotographer Uğur İkizler used time-lapse photography, which is when a series of photos are taken one after the other over a period of time to show the change or movement that has occurred.
In this case, the photos were taken around midnight on June 16 over a 50-minute period and combined in one electrifying image of 100 lightning strikes. This means there was one lightning strike every 30 seconds on average.
“Each and every one of them is beautiful, but when I combined all the lightning bolts into a single frame, it was a frightening sight,” the photographer told Live Science magazine.
WHAT IS LIGHTNING?
Clouds are made up of water and ice. Air currents push up and gravity pushes down and the water and ice are compressed, or squashed together.
The particles in the clouds collect an electrical charge from all that pushing about, just like the electrostatic charge you create when you rub a balloon on your hair.
Lightning strikes when so much electricity builds up in a cloud it is strong enough to break out of the clouds and into the air. The charged air particles form a channel which the lightning bolt travels through to hit the ground within a fraction of a second.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF LIGHTNING
There are several types of lightning but the most common are chain lightning, fork lightning and sheet lightning.
Chain lightning: when the lightning bolt begins and ends in the clouds – like a chain from one cloud to another.
Fork lightning: when the lightning bolt begins in a cloud and hits the ground or water.
Sheet lightning: when the whole sky lights up in a flash instead of the lightning showing as a bolt or zigzagging line.
At least three different types of lightning can be seen in Mr İkizler’s photo. These are cloud-to-cloud chain lightning, cloud-to-ground fork lightning and cloud-to-water fork lightning.
There are also other types of lightning that we don’t often see. They are:
Ball lightning: where lightning forms a slow moving ball that can burn objects in its path.
Red sprite:, where a red burst of electricity happens very high above storm clouds.
Blue jet: where bright, blue sprays of electricity start in the centre of a storm cloud about 40km above the ground.
Heat lightning: lightning near the horizon that is reflected by high clouds.
Elves: huge 300km wide halos of ring-shaped lightning, created in the upper, positively charged portion of the cloud.
There are 1.4 billion lightning strikes every year, or around 3 million every day across the world. That works out to be about 44 lightning bolts every second, according to Britain’s national weather service.
- astrophotographer: a photographer who takes photos of things that aren’t on earth, such as weather events in the sky and events in deep space.
- air currents: winds that move in a riverlike flow in a certain direction.
- gravity: an invisible force that pulls objects towards each other. Gravity is the force that keeps us grounded on earth.
- particles: the smallest possible unit of matter
- electrostatic: the build up of electrical charge in an object
- fraction: part of a whole
- positively charged: an electrical charge where there are more protons than electrons
- portion: one section or part
1. How many lightning strikes were recorded in Mr İkizler’s photo?
2. On average, how many lightning strikes were there every 30 seconds?
3. What are the three types of lightning strikes shown in the photo?
4. What is the type of photography Mr Ikizler used that helped him take lots of photos over a period of time?
5. What is fork lightning?
LISTEN TO THIS STORY
1. Lightning photo
Using the image of the amazing lightning photo, circle and label the different forms of lightning you can clearly see.
Under the image, write and draw some of the other rarer forms of lightning and what they look like.
Time: allow 25 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Science; Visual Arts; Critical and Creative Thinking
Using descriptive and informative language, analyse this photograph describing what you see and how to explain it. Focus on the sharpness, colours and overall mood of the lightning image.
Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Visual Arts; Critical and Creative Thinking
A storm is brewing
Not all storms are the start of a scary story, some can be quite beautiful. In fact, some people find storms peaceful. It really depends on the situation and the severity of the storm.
Do you like storms? Why/why not?
Write a recount about a time you have been in or near a storm. Tell us about why you chose to share this storm. Include details to create imagery by using your senses to describe what occurred.
How will you create a strong writer’s voice? You can write in any tense you want.
Share your recount with a classmate or family member.