Unique image obtained by scientists with high-speed camera shows how lightning rods work
The image above was captured with a high-speed camera and shows several lightning rods trying to connect to the downward discharge, via Phys.org
With a high-speed camera and the luck of being in the right place at the right time, physicist Marcelo Saba, a researcher at Brazil’s National Space Research Institute (INPE), and Ph.D. candidate Diego Rhamon obtained a unique image of lightning strikes showing details of the connections to nearby buildings.
The image appeared on the cover of the December 28, 2022 issue of Geophysical Research Letters (GRL), which featured an article with Saba as first author.
“The image was captured on a summer evening in São José dos Campos [in São Paulo state] while a negatively charged lightning bolt was nearing the ground at 370 km per second. When it was a few dozen meters from ground level, lightning rods and tall objects on the tops of nearby buildings produced positive upward discharges, competing to connect to the downward strike. The final image prior to the connection was obtained 25 thousandths of a second before the lightning hit one of the buildings,” Saba said.
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