It's a "build your own volcano" kit like no other. A team of geologists in Germany has built a model volcano that crackles with lightning as it erupts. But this is no toy science kit for kids – it could offer insights into the disruption risk to aircraft in the aftermath of an eruption.
Lightning is awesome and today the Department of Awesome Natural Phenomena presents a form of lightning we'd never heard of before: blue jet lightning. This is a form of upper-atmospheric lightning, believed to be electrically induced forms of luminous plasma. It's also known as a transient luminous event (or TLE) because the various types of electrical-discharge phenomena in the upper atmosphere lack several characteristics of the more familiar tropospheric lightning.