Monday, June 23, 2014
New technology allows you to watch lightning strikes around the world in real time.
There's a mesmerizing new project from an organization called Blitzortung.org that lets you see real-time lightning strikes around the world. It works using a network of volunteers willing to purchase and set up a $275 detection kit consisting of an antenna system, amplifier and controller.
Once activated, each station can spot the radio signals from a lightning strike and transmit the precise time and location to the Blitzortung.org's servers. From there, the lightning is displayed, complete with a bug zapper sound, on one of five maps including North America and Europe, along with a line between the strike and detecting station. Curiously, a sensor in New York can pick up lightning in Cuba, for instance, since the low frequency RF waves from lightning can travel thousands of miles.