Tagged With lightning

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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.

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If you've got years of camping experience under your belt, you're probably able to just tune out those things that go bump in the night. But if you only head out into the great outdoors once a year for a weekend camping trip, you'll appreciate the CampGuard lantern which will stand guard and automatically sound an alarm to scare off forest intruders.

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Volcanic lightning is one of nature's most epic displays, but what exactly causes the phenomenon is a longstanding mystery. Now, by studying high-speed footage of electrified volcanic outbursts at Mount Sakurajima, scientists have arrived at an answer — and it points to a new method for predicting powerful eruptions.