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NOVA scienceNow

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A New Theory of Lightning

In this video segment adapted from NOVA scienceNOW, learn about how lightning is formed, and see scientists in action as they explore lightning under controlled conditions. A new theory of lightning formation, called "runaway breakdown," hypothesizes that cosmic rays trigger the process. See how researchers set up instruments to observe X-ray evidence to support this theory, and find out about another study that has gathered even stronger evidence.

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