Watch Lightning Creep Towards Earth in Super Slow Motion

By George Dvorsky on at

Scientists at the Florida Institute of Technology recently captured a beautiful lightning storm using a new high speed camera.

The lightning in this video was recorded at 7,000 frames per second, with the playback speed adjusted to 700 frames per second. Researcher Ningyu Liu from the Geospace Physics Lab captured the footage on May 20th near the university’s Melbourne campus.

The footage is quite spectacular, showing a series of vein-like electrical streaks descending from the clouds just prior to full-on lightning flash.

The instrument that captured this lightning flash has only recently been deployed, and it’ll eventually be used to study the dynamics and energetics of what are called starters, jets, and gigantic jets, i.e. upward electrical discharges produced by thunderstorms in the upper atmosphere.

This isn’t the first time that scientists have captured lightning in super slow motion. Back in 2011, lightning physicists Vladislav Mazura and meteorologist Tom Warner managed to film lightning at an astounding 11,000 fps. [Florida Institute of Technology]