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Lightning FAQ: How are rockets used to make lightning?

By DAN ROBINSON
Storm Chaser/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Chasing
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Researchers use rocket-triggered lightning as a means to make scientific observations of natural lightning at a close range. < color=red>This process is extremely dangerous and requires careful safety measures, and is best left to experts. Spools of thin metal wire are attached to the base of small rockets. When the rockets are launched towards a thunderstorm cloud, the wire unwinds, creating a conducting path and initiating a ground-to-cloud lightning discharge.

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