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Lightning in a Bottle: What are the Odds?

Lots of cameras were snapping pictures during the spectacular lightning display Thursday afternoon. The deadly pyrotechnics stitched a path through Lassen County and Facebook was quickly filled with impressive images… but what are the odds of this?

Marlene Norvell snapped a neat picture of a downstrike near her house in the Janesville area.

Marlene Norvell's photo of a lightning bolt in the trees near Janesville.
Marlene Norvell’s photo of a lightning bolt in the trees near Janesville.

At exactly the same moment, with precision that would be hard to duplicate if you were to attempt it on purpose, we snapped this photo of the same lightning bolt from Single Tree Lane by Richmond Road.

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Our photo of the lightning bolt from Single Tree Lane.

Depending the density of the air, the typical lightning bolt moves at 224,000 mph, or about 3,700 miles per second. The bolt itself is only visible for milliseconds. What are the odds?

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso
SusanvilleStuff.com Publisher/Editor
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