Lightning is no doubt one of nature’s most impressive creations, from the 11-hour lightning marathon after the Tonga eruptions to bright green lightning bolts captured on Jupiter. Down on Earth is no exception with this spectacular composite image taken in the Turkish sky.
Amateur astronomer Uğur İkizler made this incredible image by combining images of the different lightning strikes that lit up the sky in Mudanya, Turkey. On June 16, between 10:58 and 11:48 pm, Uğur photographed the night sky and the different lightning bolt patterns as they struck over the water.
This video shows the different elements that make up the final image.
Lightning is a rapid discharge of energy from the clouds, usually formed when negative charges in the bottom of a cloud are attracted to positive charges in the ground; these charges have to be great enough to overcome the insulating properties of the surrounding air. When a connection is made, the positive and negative charges rush to meet each other, and lightning heats the air along its path, making it expand. Thunder is the sound of the expanding air. According to NOAA, lightning can occur between charges within a cloud, known as intracloud lightning, or between opposite charges in the cloud and the Earth’s surface, known as cloud-to-ground lighting.
Research has shown that lightning was crucial to the formation of life by converting nitrogen into a usable form. Lightning has also been found to create new materials even recently like this new phosphorus material that was created in Florida.