The astrophotographer was able to photograph lightning bolts striking the water in Mudanya over the course of 50 minutes.
Nature never fails to amaze and always comes up with breathtaking views. On the night of June 16, 2023, Mudanya experienced a spectacular display of lightning and thunderbolts. One amateur astronomer never fails to capture every miraculous natural view the sky presents to him. Uğur İkizler is not only fascinated by the stars but also by the weather. He's always on the lookout for impending storms, so when a forecast predicted a massive lightning storm, he grabbed his gear and went out on his balcony. In the end, his perseverance was rewarded tenfold by the stunning composite photo he obtained.
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The astrophotographer was able to photograph lightning bolts striking the water in Mudanya, Turkey over the course of 50 minutes. He then combined 30 of his best frames to create an incredible composite photo. While İkizler stated unequivocally that the photo was a composite, he also stated on his Instagram that many people still believe that all of the lightning struck at once. He clarified, "Total combined image of lightning in Mudanya sky on 16.06.2023 time 22:58 - 23:48."
Even though I didn't write a description here, still there is no such lightning at once, there are comments that it is a fake photo (translated)." That electrifying view would have been a lovely, if not a terrifying event, but that wasn't the case. "Each and every one of them is beautiful, but when I combined all the lightning bolts into a single frame, it was a frightening sight," İkizler told Live Science. The thunderstorm was a "magnificent visual feast," he added.
The final image demonstrates his artistry and creativity, as well as his technical ability to seamlessly combine all of the photographs into an amazing and aesthetic composition that does in fact seem unbelievable. Thunderstorms frequently produce numerous zig-zag patterned lightning strikes and such a high concentration is not uncommon.
The exact cause of these crooked patterns is unknown, but a 2022 study suggested that the distinctive patterns are caused by a highly conductive form of oxygen that builds up irregularly as the bolt travels toward the ground. "We know all about most things on Earth — scientists can predict [lunar and solar] eclipses to within a fraction of a second," John Lowke, a physicist at the University of South Australia and lead author of a study investigating lightning's "stepped pattern," told Live Science. "But there are still big mysteries about common old lightning."
The image shows three different types of lightning: cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to-ground, and cloud-to-water, according to Spaceweather. These classifications indicate where lightning bolts begin and end—in the clouds, on the ground, or striking bodies of water rather than land. Each lightning bolt typically has a voltage of 100 million to one billion volts and a current in the billions of amps.
According to the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA), this tremendous amount of energy can significantly raise the temperature of the surrounding air, causing it to rise between 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit (10,000 degrees Celsius) and 60,000 degrees Fahrenheit (33,000 degrees Celsius).