Dec 24, 2012
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Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Worldwide, lightning strikes around 50 times every second (more than 4 million times every day). Electrical imbalances generated by turbulent skies are suddenly balanced by a spectacular discharge tracing across a darkened sky — a display that is both frightening and awe-inspiring. Collected below are recent images of lightning around the world, including a rare image of an upper atmosphere "red sprite" flash captured by NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning pierces a dark sky above buildings in central Shanghai during a storm on August 15, 2012

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Storm chaser photographer Mike Meadows is silhouetted as lightning strikes outside Lake Havasu City, Arizona as monsoon moisture continues to invade the Mojave deserts area, on July 30, 2012.

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

A rainbow appears as lightning strikes after a rainstorm in Haikou, Hainan province, China, on May 13, 2012.

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

An elusive "red sprite" flash, photographed by Expedition 31 astronauts aboard the International Space Station on April 30, 2012. The sprite (upper right) appears high above a lightning strike (bright spot in the clouds). Red sprites only last for a few milliseconds, sending pulses of electrical energy up toward the edge of space–the electrically charged layer known as the ionosphere–instead of down to Earth’s surface. More about this image on NASA’s Earth Observatory. (NASA)

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

A lightning bolt flashes above Independence Square near the landmark Palacio Salvo, in Montevideo, Uruguay, as a storm passes over the capital early on February 28, 2012.

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Forks of lightning during a thunderstorm in Warsaw, Poland, on June 20, 2012.

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning streaks across the sky in Tyler, Texas as a powerful line of thunderstorms, several spawning tornadoes moved across Texas, on April 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Dr. Scott M. Lieberman

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning illuminates the sky above Donbass Arena during the Group D Euro 2012 soccer match Ukraine vs France in Donetsk, Ukraine, on June 15, 2012. The game was suspended due to heavy rain and thunder storm. (Reuters/Felix Ordonez

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lighting strikes behind a barn surrounded by a soybean crop in Donnellson, Iowa, on July 13, 2012. (Reuters/Adrees Latif)

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Viewed from low Earth orbit, lightning illuminates a cloud from within, above Oklahoma, on April 11, 2012. Photo taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station, some 250 miles above the clouds. (NASA

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning strikes over buildings during a thunderstorm in Berlin, on June 29, 2012. (Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski)

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

A double rainbow appears in the sky as lightning strikes during a severe thunderstorm in Hamilton, Ohio, on May 1, 2012.(AP Photo/Steve Vaughn)

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning Strikes Behind Shuttle Endeavour in Spectacular Photos

The space shuttle Endeavour is seen on launch pad 39a as a storm passes by prior to the rollback of the Rotating Service Structure (RSS), Thursday, April 28, 2011, at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning, during a storm above the Memorial Center in Potocari the night before a mass burial, near Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on July 10, 2012. The bodies of 520 recently identified victims of the Srebrenica massacre were buried on July 11, the anniversary of the massacre when Bosnian Serb forces commanded by Ratko Mladic slaughtered 8,000 Muslim men and boys and buried them in mass graves, in Europe’s worst massacre since World War Two. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic)

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning strikes Lake Michigan, seen from Streeterville, north of downtown Chicago. Original here. (CC BY Chad Kainz)

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning strikes over a house in the northern Swiss town of Muellheim, on August 20, 2012. (Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann)

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning touches down during a storm in central Shanghai, on August 20, 2012. (Reuters/Aly Song)

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

A flash of lightning illuminates the night sky during a thunderstorm in Cali, Valle del Cauca department, Colombia, on April 25, 2012.(Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images)

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lighting strikes over Saint Joseph cathedral Hanoi, Vietnam, on July 14, 2012. (Reuters/Carlos Barria)

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightningin the sky above the Christopher Columbus monument at Madrid’s Colon Square, on July 26, 2012. (Reuters/Juan Medina

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning bolts crisscross the sky above Lahore City, Pakistan, during a thunderstorm that was followed with heavy rain on April 13, 2012.(Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

A soldier from the U.S. Army’s Alpha Company, 1-12 Infantry, 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, mans a weapon during a lightning storm at Combat Outpost Pirtle-King in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province, on June 8, 2012. (Reuters/Tim Wimborne)

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Forks of lightning during a thunderstorm above Warsaw, Poland, on June 20, 2012. (Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

A double rainbow appears after a heavy monsoon storms over Nipton Road in Searchlight, Nevada, on July 13, 2012.(Reuters/Gene Blevins)

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Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning strikes over buildings during a thunderstorm in Belgrade, June 8, 2011.

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning strikes in Poyang county in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, July 20, 2010.

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning is seen above buildings during a storm in central Shanghai, August 11, 2011.

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning flashes behind Memorial Stadium at the University of Oklahoma during a weather delay before the start of their NCAA Big 12 Conference football game against Texas Tech in Norman, Oklahoma, October 22, 2011.

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning strikes the CN Tower during a thunderstorm in Toronto, May 29, 2011.

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

A sunflower field is seen in stormy weather near Donzere, southern France, August 5, 2011.

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning strikes behind the Mandalay Bay and the Luxor hotel casinos as a thunderstorm passes through Las Vegas, Nevada, September 11, 2011.

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning strikes over buildings during a thunderstorm in central Bangkok, March 26, 2012.

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightnings strike over buildings during a thunderstorm in Berlin, June 29, 2012.

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

An armored vehicle from the Centurion Company, 2-1 Infantry Battalion, 5/2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team is framed by a bolt of lightning during a storm at Combat Outpost Terminator in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, April 19, 2010.

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning illuminates the sky offshore Beirut, October 29,2008.

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning strikes as Mount Merapi volcano erupts spewing out towering clouds of hot gas and debris, as seen from Ketep village in Magelang, Indonesia’s Central Java province, November 6, 2010.

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning flashes around the ash plume above the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano chain near Entrelagos, Chile, June 5, 2011.

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning flashes around the ash plume above the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano chain near Entrelagos, Chile, June 5, 2011.

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Volcanic lightning or a dirty thunderstorm is seen above Shinmoedake peak as it erupts, between Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures, in Japan, January 28, 2011.

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning streaks across the sky as lava flows from a volcano in Eyjafjallajokul, Iceland, April 17, 2010

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning bolts strike around the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain near Osorno city in Chile, June 5, 2011.

Thrilling Lighting Strikes Pictures Around The world

Lightning is seen during a storm under the Memorial Center in Potocari the night before a mass burial, near Srebrenica, Bosnia, July 10, 2012.

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