Tagged With lightning

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Thunderclouds rolled into the Japanese beach town of Uchinada early one December morning in 2015. The scientists expected the storms; they'd staked out the location specifically for studying something normally only seen by satellites. Sometime after 5am, a flash of lightning struck a wind turbine. And along came a more perplexing weather phenomenon, too: The thunderstorm turned into a particle accelerator and blasted gamma radiation at the ground.

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While the iPhone itself gets more and more resilient every year, the cables that come with them can feel like they’re made of paper mache. I’d say there’s good odds that you’ve replaced your phone cable at least once. You don’t want to do it again. So here’s three cables that have stood up to the rigours of daily life.

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Video: Tom Scott took a pair of DJI Phantom 3 drones to the University of Manchester's High Voltage Laboratory, where they can manufacture lightning strikes measuring over a million volts. The goal was to see what happens to a drone were it to get struck by lightning while flown in a storm, and the results will probably surprise no one.

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Lightning is a beautiful but dangerous beast: While we're pretty good at observing it from the ground — and occasionally, being struck by it — there's still some mystery about how the electrical discharges in the upper layers of our atmosphere actually work. The names given to these discharges (such as red sprites, pixies, elves) sound like the musings of a Dungeons & Dragons zealot rather than legitimate scientific phenomena. But at long last, scientists have been able to study images and video of one these elusive happenings — called blue jets — and the results are as spellbinding as lightning itself.

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If you find yourself having to fix a plumbing leak in the middle of the night, the last thing you want is your work light falling over in the middle of the job. So Ridgid's new task light, which looks like a floating buoy, features a rounded, weighted base ensuring that even if it does get knocked over, it will automatically stand back up again.