Scientists at the Florida Institute of Technology pointed their new high-speed camera at a storm to capture these incredible lightning strike images at 7,000 frames per second (fps).
The camera, designed to capture and study the upward electrical discharges from thunderstorms, caught the amazing lightning flash on May 20 during a storm not far from the university’s Melbourne campus.
This kind of lightning, called cloud-to-ground lightning, is caused by a build-up of negatively charged ions in the storm clouds that rush downwards, meeting the positive charges moving upward from the ground. The video captures the moment the lightning hits the ground, exploding in a highly satisfying flash.
Although the images were captured at 7,000 fps, to view the flash in detail the footage has been adjusted to 700 fps.