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June 25, 2011

Lightning eruptions

The last volcanic eruptions have made headlines, and not just because of the ash clouds halting global flights.

The volcanic eruption in Chile, and the last two in Iceland, were outstanding because of the lightning. The lightning shows the full scale of the power of nature.

But geologists still aren't exactly certain what causes the lightning. There is an assumption that the lightning is caused by the same process that causes lightning in thunderstorms - something about volcanic dust particles colliding with each other and building up static charges.

However, there is the question of why only some volcanoes produce lightning and others don't. Can you imagine how much power there is in an explosion that it could inspire lightning crashes like these?




Images from MailOnline; AFP; Getty Images