Mostly Mute Monday: Volcanic Lightning (Synopsis)

“If you are caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron.” –Lee Trevino

When it comes to lightning, you inevitably think of thunderstorms, rain, and the exchange of huge amounts of charge between the clouds above and the Earth. But there’s another sight that’s perhaps even more spectacular.

Image credit: Francisco Negroni / Associated Press, Agenci Uno / European Press Photo Agency.
Image credit: Francisco Negroni / Associated Press, Agenci Uno / European Press Photo Agency.

During volcanic eruptions, the high temperatures, volatile atoms-and-molecules and disrupted airflow can create an incredible separation of charge, leading to the remarkable phenomenon of volcanic lightning.

Image credit: Francisco Negroni / Associated Press, Agenci Uno / European Press Photo Agency.
Image credit: Francisco Negroni / Associated Press, Agenci Uno / European Press Photo Agency.

Come see some spectacular examples (and science) on today’s Mostly Mute Monday!