Camera Captures X-Ray Shot Of Lightning

December 28, 2010


It's official -- lightning's boneless!

In an attempt to determine where the x-rays in lightning come from, scientists shot wire-toting rockets into thunderclouds and then used an ultra-fast x-ray camera to capture the resulting lightning bolt. That's not actually the x-ray shot there, that's just a plain-ass vanilla lightning picture. Read on and learn, Juggalos!:

Scientists have known for several years that lightning emits radiation...But until now scientists didn't have the technology to take x-ray images quickly enough to see where the radiation comes from...

Because lightning moves blindingly fast, the camera was required to take ten million images per second.

One challenge in taking such fast pictures is storing the data. To do so, the x-ray detector had to take pictures at a relatively low resolution of 30 pixels

Even so, the resolution was sharp enough to reveal a bright ball of x-rays at the head of the bolt, with almost no lingering radiation along the bolt's trail.

That's right folks, all the x-rays travel in the head. What does this mean for science? Jackshit. Besides, God probably sent down special LARPing bolts just to mess with the scientists. I'M GOD, NOBODY SHOOTS ROCKETS AT ME! LIGHTNING BOLT! LIGHTNING BOLT!

Hit the jump for a diagram of what an x-ray lightning picture actually looks like.


Lightning Captured by X-Ray Camera--A First [nationalgeographic]

Thanks to wes g, who can make lightning strike wherever he wants simply by willing it. We should start a power company!

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