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Heat Lightning and Light Pollution
Heat Lightning and Light Pollution
Description: In the late summer, we sometimes have conditions that produce what we call heat lightning. It`s really just cloud lightning, and generally quite active. It rarely produces thunder, and so it`s a magical display of the power of the clouds. Because it`s in the clouds, it can be seen for great distances sometimes, which makes it even more mysterious. I`m no expert, but I`m pretty sure it`s called heat lightning simply because the conditions that are right for rich displays of cloud lightning often occur in the late summer, when very hot, very moist air is rapidly convecting. It takes a lot of energy to produce one of these displays, and that much convective energy isn`t available in the winter. I was a bit late to photograph this display. It had been much closer, but by the time I got to where I could capture it, it had moved quite a ways to the east. The lights of Bloomington light the sky behind the cloud, demonstrating how much of our crisis of energy is of our own making. A great deal of the electricity we generate is radiated directly into space. Do not pass Go, do not collect an Energy STAR. In fact, I find the Green movement to be a bit misguided at times, because one of the most wasteful use of energy in the world, lighting the sky at night, goes completely unaddressed by those folks. Not that I think their efforts aren`t for worthy causes, mind you, because they are. But I remember as a child being able to see the Milky Way so brightly that I swore it was casting my shadow on my telescope. Now, in the darkest skies around here, I have people point to the sky and ask Is that the Milky Way? It`s tragic to me that there are literally tens of millions of kids in America alone, let alone the rest of the world, that will never see more than a few stars in the sky, unless something radically changes.

Date Taken: 8/1/2008
Views: 3518
City: Bloomington
*ApertureValue: 4
*ISOSpeedRatings: 800
*ShutterSpeedValue: -3.321928
State: illinois
Zipcode: 61701
Country: United States
*Camera: NIKON D200
*Software: Ver.2.00
*From Exif Data (See All)
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Classic Comments
Tim- this is a wonderful image and would like to know more about how you shot it ---- i.e. camera, exposure, etc. Nice composition as well. Enjoy the Perseids! -- lditzel
Nice image, great capture, good job. -- Weatherornot
You must have lived in a remote rural area as a child - severe light pollution has been with us for at least 5 decades. Lighting the sky at night, the most wasteful use of energy in the world, as you say, is a by-product of lighting the earth...buildings, parking lots, billboards, etc. Due to the diffusive nature of our atmosphere, these things cannot be illuminated without lighting the sky as well. The alternative is forcing lights out at dusk. -- larryedit
thats cool! -- JJG81
This photo caught me right away. It is absolutely stunning and immediately transported me to my youth to a summer I spent on a farm in the Bloomington area...Hayworth. I remember the locals calling these passing clouds heat lighting. It truly is a beautiful photograph. -- doormattz
I was not only compelled to comment on your beautiful photo, but also on your observation of the Green movement and its attention to light lost into the night sky. The issue of light pollution IS certainly addressed by Green minded folks! Light pollution is a serious issue. Please see Thanks -- doormattz
Uploaded on 8/6/2008
by tdstone4s
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