Please note that all images on this blog are copyrighted by their respective owners. To find out who owns the copyright, hover the mouse over the image. No images on this site may be used for commercial purposes. The image in the header for this blog is copyright National Geographic.
It looks stunning, but just how do you get so much lightning at once? Basically, as the billions of ash and dust particles rub together in the sky, static electricity causes some of them to become charged – just like rubbing a balloon on your jumper can make it become statically charged.
These charged ash and dust particles can then trigger huge bolts of lightning, some reaching down to the ground and some staying between the clouds. The result: a dazzling show of light – and of course sound as well.
Chaitén’s not just making dirty storms – its ash clouds are spreading right over as far as the Atlantic Ocean, and it’s spewing lava out too (although not at a very high rate yet). It’s definitely something to keep an eye on over the next few days.
A magnitude 4.5 quake hit Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Sunday, killing at least 39 people and injuring countless others. This region of Africa is actually quite prone to seismic activity, but it has been quiet for the past few years. A magnitude 6.8 quake struck in December 2005.
Chile also saw a large quake, a magnitude 6.3 one that struck on Monday. Fortunately no casualties or damage have been reported, although there were several landslides.