1. Introduction
  2. How Lightning is Created
  3. The Positive and Negative Side
  4. The Sound of Thunder
  5. Lightning Safety
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. Review Questions
Click for very large version

This image shows the global average annual occurrence of lightning at a resolution of ½° by ½°. (Very large 300 dpi version - 1440k) The data was obtained from the following two space-based sensors:

The Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS), is used to detect the distribution and variability of total lightning (cloud-to-cloud, intracloud, and cloud-to-ground lightning) that occurs in the tropical regions of the globe. The LIS is a science instrument aboard the TRMM Observatory, which was launched on November 28, 1997 from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan.

The Optical Transient Detector (OTD) is a solid-state optical sensor similar in some ways to a TV camera. It is uniquely designed for the job of observing and measuring lightning from space.

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