ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Volcanic lightning. Historical artwork of lightning inside a plume of smoke and ash during an eruption of the volcano Vesuvius on 15th June 1794. This phenomenon is known as a dirty thunderstorm, which occurs when rock fragments, ash, and ice particles in a volcanic plume collide and produce electrical charges. Vesuvius is located near Naples in Italy and is famous for its destruction of the Roman cities Pompeii and Herculaneum, which were buried under ash and mud respectively, in 79 AD. Published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 1795.
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