Pictures: Volcano Lightning, Illuminated

1. The Ash That Grounded a Thousand Ships

It wasn’t the lightning but rather the widespread ash clouds from the April 2010 eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano (pictured) that eventually grounded a hundred thousand flightsPhotograph by Lucas Jackson, Reuters

2. Big Bolt

A giant bolt of lightning strikes Indonesia’s Mount Merapi in 2010. Photograph by Jeffe Castan, Your Shot

3. Hellish Halo

There are at least two types of volcanic lightning, the new radio-mapping study found. One occurs at the mouth of the volcano, and the other—as shown over Chile’s Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano complex in 2011—electrifies the heights of the plume, possibly as rising water becomes a mix of droplets and ice-coated ash particles. Photograph by Carlos Gutierrez, Reuters

4. Lit From Within

Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupts with flash and ash in 2010. Photograph by Peter Vancoillie, Your Shot

5. Electric Web

A long-exposure picture of  Chile’s Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano complex in June 2011 turns individual bolts into a web of lightning. But to truly measure the amount of lightning in an ash plume requires the monitoring of radio emissions, according to the new study. Photograph from Negroni/Xinhua/Zuma Press

6. Coastal Storm

It doesn’t take an explosive eruption to spark volcanic lightning. Here, hot lava from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano ambles into the cool sea in July 2008, producing towering lava fountains, steam—and electricity. Photograph by Alex Preiss, Photo Resource Hawaii  

7. Reaching for the Stars

Arcing across the Icelandic sky in May 2010, a lightning bolt only hints at the electrical activity hidden inside Eyjafjallajökull volcano’s “dirty thunderstorm.”  Photograph by Skarphéðinn Þráinsson

(via lumieres-home)