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Bolts From the Blue: The Beauty of Lightning

BESTPIX -  Severe Storms Pass Through Chicago

Lightning strikes the Willis Tower in downtown on June 12, 2013 in Chicago.

TIME

Nothing more romantic than a discharge of energy that allows the atmosphere to restore electrostatic balance, lightning nonetheless thrills us, frightens us and holds us spellbound. As the National Weather Service draws our attention to this powerful phenomenon, TIME’s photo editors offer a selection of stunning images showcasing a powerful force that kills around 50 people in the US each year.

Lightning Statue of Liberty

JAY FINE / CATERS NEWS

Lightning strikes near the Statue of Liberty in New York City, Oct. 11, 2010.

Lightning is seen above buildings during a storm in central Shanghai

Lightning is seen above buildings during a storm in central Shanghai, Aug. 15, 2012.

Lesotho lightning

ALESSANDRO DELLA BELLA / EPA

A multiple exposure photograph shows lightning striking above Maseru, capital of Lesotho, Sept. 27, 2011.

Arizona Summer Storm

Ralph Lauer / ZUMA Press / Corbis

Summer rain storms and lightning roll across the plains near the Petrified Forest National Park, in Navajo, Ariz., Aug. 31, 2011.

Chile Volcano

Francisco Negroni / AgenciaUno / AP

Lightning strikes over the Puyehue volcano, over 500 miles south of Santiago, Chile, June 6, 2011.

Icelandic Volcano Causes More Disruption

Ragnar Axelsson / Bloomberg / Getty Images

A lightning bolt strikes through an ash cloud erupting from the Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland, May 21, 2011.

Lightning streaks across the sky as lava flows from a volcano in Eyjafjallajokul

Lucas Jackson / REUTERS

Lightning streaks across the sky as lava flows from a volcano in Eyjafjallajokul, April 17, 2010.

Lightning above Cheetah with adolescent cubs on termite mound

Paul Souders / Corbis

Lightning strikes above a cheetah with adolescent cubs on termite mound in Maasai Mara, Kenya, Sept. 22, 2009.

USA - Military - Lightning Over the USS Stennis

MC2 Heidi Giacalone / epa / Corbis

Lightning strikes over the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) as the ship transits through the Persian Gulf, March 28, 2007.

NatWest Series - England and Australia

Tom Shaw / Getty Images

Lightning strikes as the players leave the field due to the electrical storm during the NatWest Series One Day International between England and Australia played at Edgbaston in Birmingham, United Kingdom, June 28, 2005.

Lightning and Thunderstorm Supercell

Jim Reed / Corbis

A lone lightning bolt strikes the ground beneath an isolated supercell thunderstorm at sunset in Kansas, June 5, 2004.

USA, New York State, New York City, Empire State Building in heavy lightning

Corbis

Lightning strikes the Empire State Building in New York City.

Lightning strikes during an electrical storm at night in the Canyon.

Kolb Brothers / National Geographic Society / Corbis

Lightning strikes during an electrical storm at night in the Grand Canyon.

TIME.com http://science.time.com/2013/06/24/bolts-from-the-blue-the-beauty-of-lightning/#ixzz2kYR95IZl

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