The sun may be partly responsible for lightning strikes on Earth, and scientists think fluctuations in the sun's magnetic field could be used to predict lightning storms weeks in advance.
Lightning is essentially a giant spark of static electricity, though much about how and why it forms remains unknown and the subject of scientific research. It is known that lightning occurs in thunderstorms when there is a separation of electrical charge within the storm clouds, which can cause cloud-to-cloud lightning, the majority of lightning that occurs in a storm. A charge separation can also form between thunderstorm clouds and the ground, leading to classic cloud-to-ground lightning. Thunder is the acoustic shock wave that results from the heat that a lightning strike produces. NASA research suggests that lightning flashes 40 times a second around the globe. Read about the latest lightning research and see amazing lightning photos below.
Expect a 50 percent increase in lightning strikes within the United States by 2100 if temperatures continue to rise due to greenhouse gas emissions.
A high-speed camera run by the University of Florida's Lightning Research Laboratory caught an unusual bolt from the blue in Gainesville.
Before the Hawaii-bound storm Julio strengthened into a hurricane, a NASA satellite spotted a high-energy flash of "dark lightning" coming from the swirling clouds.
A new study finds in an increase in lightning strikes after large solar winds. The findings suggest that particles from the sun may interact with the atmosphere to make lightning more likely.
The origin of the mysterious reddish lighting above thunderstorms, known as atmospheric sprites, has long puzzled scientists, but they now have some idea how it forms.
A storm of charged particles coursing through a volcanic ash cloud sparked the spectacular green lightning snapped in a pair of photos at Chile's Chaiten Volcano in 2008.
The piles of angular, jumbled rocks that mark mountain summits result from powerful explosions sparked by lightning, a new study shows.
In this electrifying space wallpaper, taken on Friday June 7, 2013, a furious thunderstorm is discharging its mighty rage over Cerro Paranal.
Some people may think that the rubber tires on a car help protect a driver and occupants from a lightning strike, but it is a myth.
Lightning strikes worldwide kill about 24,000 people each year, and roughly 240,000 people are injured on an annual basis. Here's what you can do to avoid being a lightning strike statistic.
Most lightning deaths occur while people are enjoying outdoor activities, with fishing the most deadly.