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Saturn Video Captures Extraterrestrial Lightning For First Time EVER (VIDEO)

 
Anonymous Coward
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04/20/2010 01:22 AM
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Saturn Video Captures Extraterrestrial Lightning For First Time EVER (VIDEO)
*Watch video below*
Using images of Saturn's night side taken by the Cassini spacecraft, NASA has created the first-ever video showing powerful extraterrestrial lightning strikes.

The footage comes from Saturn, where electrical storms can rage for months.

This particular video, shot in November 2009, shows a storm cloud nearly 2,000 miles long and lightning flashes almost 200 miles in diameter.

NASA reports on the landmark data:


After waiting years for Saturn to dim enough for the spacecraft's cameras to detect bursts of light, scientists were able to create the movie, complete with a soundtrack that features the crackle of radio waves emitted when lightning bolts struck.


"This is the first time we have the visible lightning flash together with the radio data," said Georg Fischer, a radio and plasma wave science team associate based at the Space Research Institute in Graz, Austria. "Now that the radio and visible light data line up, we know for sure we are seeing powerful lightning storms."


Because the radio data captured by Cassini cannot be detected by humans, the audio in the following video merely simulates the stormy soundtrack.

See the video of the lightning, or scroll down for a montage of images capturing the lightning. Still haven't got your space fix? Check out one astronaut's images of Mount Kilimanjaro, Haiti, the Maldives, and more as seen from orbit, NASA's best images of the Earth to date, and these gorgeous photos of mars, stars, earth, as well as images from NASA's sky-mapping spacecraft.

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[link to www.huffingtonpost.com]

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