Caught in a Flash – Amazing Phenomenon Caught in Slow MotionThe Earth Site
If the odds of being struck by lightning are a million to one, then the odds of catching a video of lightning striking an electrical pole must be at least a billion to one. A Chicago motorist captured lightening striking a pole. The driver is so close to the strike that exploding debris actually hits the windshield.
This video went viral after the motorist sent it to station KWWL and national outlets, including The Weather Channel. The pole seems to spontaneously explode into a many pieces in less than a second, but watching the video in slow motion reveals that it actually catches fire first before exploding. In this instance, video shot at the standard speed of 24 frames per second catches some of the action that happens too quickly for human eyes to detect. Even though lightning is such a frequent occurrence and strikes this planet about 100 times every second, it happens so quickly that much about it remains a mystery, especially the physics behind the phenomena of high-altitude lightning.
A generous grant from the National Space Foundation along with advances in high-speed videography are helping scientists unlock some of lightning’s secrets.