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These photos were taken in 2008, in Chile, when the Chaitén volcano

These photos were taken in 2008, in Chile, when the Chaitén volcano erupted for the first time in 9000 years. The eruption also caused a spectacular lightning storm. This can happen when the hot gas and ash rises through the cooler atmosphere, causing a transfer of charge. The excess of electrons within the cloud makes it act like a capacitor, and if all the conditions are correct, huge electrical discharges may be observed as bolts of lightning during volcanic eruptions.Amy Anderson

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