Lightning Above Athens

October 21, 2009


Photographer: Chris Kotsiopoulos 
Summary Author: Chris Kotsiopoulos; Jim Foster

October 2009 Earth Science Picture of the Day Viewer's Choice

The photo above shows an electrifying scene above Athens, Greece, captured from my home in Chalandri, on the evening of July 9, 2009. A terrific thunderstorm ripped through Greece’s capital city around the midnight hour pitching powerful bolts of cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning. The lightning loops span a horizontal distance of approximately 12 mi (20 k). It’s estimated that more than 15 million thunderstorms occur somewhere around the world each year. Imitos Mountain (3,366 ft or 1,026 m) is in the background.

Photo details: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi camera; Shutter Speed/exposure 20 seconds; Aperture of 5.6; ISO 100; Lens EF28mm f/1.8 USM.