Twin Lightning Strikes Over Buenos Aires

June 26, 2015


The photo above captured twin lightning strikes over Buenos Aires, Argentina on the night of July 21, 2014. These cloud-to-ground strikes emanated from the base of a negatively-charged, cumulonimbus cloud. With cloud-to-ground lightning, as a narrow channel of negative electric charge (stepped leader) approaches the surface, it's attracted to a positively-charged leader, typically streaming up through a tall object (in this case, office buildings). When they meet, in a fraction of a second a powerful current flows in a zigzag course. Though lightning can be seen from miles away, the actual lightning channel is usually not much more than 1 in (2.5 cm) in diameter.
Photo Details: Canon t5i camera; 75-300mm Canon lens; f/20; 20 second exposure.