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Photos: Earth's Lightning Seen from Space

Lightning Over Africa as Seen on ISS

NASA

One of the Expedition 29 crew members aboard the International Space Station, approximately 220 miles above Earth, took this night time picture showing clouds, lightning, airglow, Earth's terminator and lights of civilization along the central west coast of Africa. Nadir coordinates are 9.04 degrees south latitude and 10.18 degrees east longitude. This image was released Sept. 16, 2011.

Lightning Flash Suomi

NASA/NOAA

A lightning flash from a line of severe thunderstorms sweeping across the eastern United States was spotted from space by the Suomi NPP satellite on the night of Jan. 29, 2013.

Map of Lightning Strikes on Earth

NASA

This satellite map shows where lightning flashes most often across the planet.

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Space.com Staff
Space.com Staff

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, Space.com is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.