Green lightning may be caused by positive charges, or by camera lens

Physicist offers possible explanations for stunning photograph

By Meghan Rosen, 16:12 PM December 12, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO — A zigzag of green lightning that flashed above a volcano in 2008 could have gotten its color from a cluster of positive charges.

The freak bolt, snapped by a photographer during an eruption of Chile’s Chaitén volcano, may be a different type of lightning than the kind sent down from thunderclouds, suggested atmospheric physicist Arthur Few of Rice University in Houston at the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting on December 9.

In thunderstorms, negative charges jump from c...

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