Lightning over Tucson, Arizona, USA

Lightning over Tucson, Arizona, USA

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Credit: PETER MENZEL/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lightning over Tucson, Arizona, USA. Time-exposure image of lightning over Tucson city and vehicle tail lights on a road. The silhouettes of saguaro cacti (Carnegiea gigantea) are at far left and right. Lightning is an electrical discharge in the atmosphere that occurs during thunderstorms. A charge differential builds up between the clouds and the surface of the Earth. When the charge differential is high enough, the accumulated energy is discharged in a flash of lightning. The discharge takes a few milliseconds and temperatures reach as high as 30,000 degrees Celsius.

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Keywords: american, arizona, at night, atmospheric, atmospheric science, bend, cacti, cactus, car, carnegiea gigantea, cars, city, climate, cloud, clouds, cloudy, curve, curved, dark, electrical storm, evening, fast, head lights, headlights, lightning, long exposure, meteorological, meteorology, motion, movement, night, north america, north american, overcast, physical geography, plant, rear lights, road, saguaro cactus, silhouette, silhouettes, sky, speed, storm, storms, stormy, streaks, strike, tail lights, time-exposed, time-exposure, traffic, trails, transport, transportation, tucson, united states, urban, us, usa, vehicle, vehicles, weather

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