This image shows the global average annual occurrence of lightning at a resolution of 2½° by 2½°. (Very large 300 dpi version - 1150k) 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.