Luo Xing - Thunder in Chongqing

Thunder in Chongqing by Luo Xing

Photo location: Chongqing, China

Camera: Sony A7R2+Nikon 14-24mm

During the early hours of the night, Luo captured this photo of lightning strikes over Chongqing in China.

Lightning is a sudden, electrostatic discharge in the atmosphere in the form of a 'spark' or a 'flash'. Electricity can discharge between clouds, from a cloud to air or from a cloud to the ground. Lightning is associated with thunderstorm clouds, also known as cumulonimbus clouds, and these clouds can typically form in under an hour.

Inside a cumulonimbus cloud, particles of rain, snow or ice move up and down, colliding and causing an imbalance in the electrical charge. Cloud-to-ground lightning, as seen in this image, happens when a channel of negative charge zigzags downward in a 'forked pattern'. This is usually invisible to the human eye and travels to the ground in a millisecond. As it nears the ground, it attracts a positive charge reaching up from a tall building, tree or telegraph pole. When the two connect, a powerful electrical current travels at about 60,000 miles per second back to the cloud as a very bright, visible flash of lightning.

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