Friday, July 27, 2012

Lightning article featuring Tim Samaras in August National Geographic

As I wrote in this blog a month ago, I'm taking a break this summer from case study posts.  However, I do want to mention that National Geographic is running an excellent article on my severe weather researcher friend Tim Samaras and his lightning photography quest. 

The article and accompanying images are in the August 2012 issue of National Geographic magazine.  Here's the cover:

credit: National Geographic

And here are some images from the article, shown with National Geographic permission:

© Carsten Peter

© Carsten Peter

© Carsten Peter

Here's an online link to other photos:

A portion of Nat Geo's press release:

Using the world's fastest high-resolution camera housed in a mobile trailer, Tim Samaras hopes to be the first to photograph the micro-second event (not visible to the naked eye) that triggers a lightning strike. Through this, Samaras hopes to discover clues to some of lightning's biggest mysteries: Why will a lightning bolt sometimes strike a low tree when right beside it is a tall metal tower? And why, for that matter, does lightning strike at all?

He is used to having people tell him that what he’s trying can’t be done. But before he became obsessed with lightning, Samaras spent several years chasing after tornadoes to deploy electronic probes, mounted with video cameras and other instruments, to record what it looks and feels like from inside.  People were dubious about that too, but he managed to gather some of the most accurate readings ever of wind speed, barometric pressure, temperature, humidity inside a tornado vortex.

Congratulations, Tim...  As always, great work!

Jon Davies - 7/27/12