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At First Glance, I Thought That This Was Lightning Hitting a Porta-Potty

But no, this is some sort of instrument used by the people at the Lightning Research Laboratory at the University of Florida. They've got some amazing photos and videos linked in their sidebar. Check 'em out. Link -via DVICE

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From memory, this is a weather/lightning research facility.

I believe they attach a small gauge wire filament, that is miles long, to the tail of a scale rocket and then fire said rocket into the Cumulus clouds to create the lightning strikes at a predicted time and on target..

how do you land a job like that!
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