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photos of sakurajima, the most active volcano in japan, by (click pic) takehito miyatake (previously featured) and martin rietze. volcanic storms can rival the intensity of massive supercell thunderstorms, but the source of the charge responsible for this phenomenon remains hotly debated.

in the kind of storm clouds that generate conventional lightning, ice particles and soft hail collide, building up positive and negative charges, respectively. they separate into layers, and the charge builds up until the electric field is high enough to trigger lightning.

but the specific mechanism by which particles of differing charges are separated in the ash cloud is still unknown. lightning has been observed between the eruption plume and the volcano right at the start of an eruption, suggesting that there are processes that occur inside the volcano to lead to charge separation.  

volcanic lightning could yield clues about the earth’s geological past, and could answer questions about the beginning of life on our planet. volcanic lightning could have been the essential spark that converted water, hydrogen, ammonia, and methane molecules present on a primeval earth into amino acids, the building blocks of life.

(see also: previous volcanology posts)

"I made a commercial and I was photographed, I did a poster once. I’ll presumably have to do that again. If you’re going to ask me questions about skincare, there’s not much I can tell you. Don’t rub a cheese grater up and down your cheeks. That would be my advice. Don’t dunk your face in engine oil or other caustic substances. I don’t know anything about it. They sort of ask you to do this thing and you go: ‘You’re out of your fucking mind, not in a billion years would I consider such a thing.’ Then, as they tell you it’s a great deal of money, the thought crosses your mind: ‘With that money I could build a school in Senegal.’ And then you can’t say no. Because if you do say no, what you’re saying is that your public pose is more important than people getting a school in Senegal or polio vaccinations in Uganda or whatever. You can’t do that. You just can’t.

(Источник: lisaedelstein)

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