Agriculture
Getting the dirt on carbon
Growing Healthier Tomato Plants
Keeping Bugs Away from Food
Amphibians
Tree Frogs
Frogs and Toads
Salamanders and Newts
Animals
Navigating by the Light of the Moon
Insects Take a Breather
Sea Lilies on the Run
Behavior
Meet your mysterious relative
Pipefish power from mom
World’s largest lizard is venomous too
Birds
Swans
Cranes
Dodos
Chemistry and Materials
Bang, Sparkle, Burst, and Boom
Bandages that could bite back
Cold, colder and coldest ice
Computers
Toxic Dirt + Avian Flu = Science Fair Success
Small but WISE
The Earth-bound asteroid scientists saw coming
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dino Babies
The man who rocked biology to its core
The Paleontologist and the Three Dinosaurs
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Snowflakes and Avalanches
Weird, new ant
Life under Ice
Environment
Shrimpy Invaders
Sea Otters, Kelp, and Killer Whales
Giant snakes invading North America
Finding the Past
Prehistoric Trips to the Dentist
Oldest Writing in the New World
Preserving Ancient Warrior Paint
Fish
Barracudas
Trout
Perches
Food and Nutrition
Building a Food Pyramid
Eat Out, Eat Smart
In Search of the Perfect French Fry
GSAT English Rules
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Capitalization Rules
Subject and Verb Agreement
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Exam Preparation
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Mathematics
Math Naturals
Setting a Prime Number Record
GSAT Mathematics Quiz, Teaching Math, teaching anxiety
Human Body
A Long Trek to Asia
Taste Messenger
Sea Kids See Clearly Underwater
Invertebrates
Shrimps
Millipedes
Butterflies
Mammals
Deers
Cape Buffalo
African Elephants
Parents
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Children and Media
Physics
Black Hole Journey
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Speedy stars
Plants
Stalking Plants by Scent
Making the most of a meal
Fast-flying fungal spores
Reptiles
Caimans
Snapping Turtles
Komodo Dragons
Space and Astronomy
Big Galaxy Swallows Little Galaxy
Cousin Earth
Cool as a Jupiter
Technology and Engineering
Algae Motors
Roll-Up Computer Monitors to Go
Supersuits for Superheroes
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Noun
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Charged cars that would charge
Troubles with Hubble
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Weather
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
Science loses out when ice caps melt
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Add your Article

Petrified Lightning

Lightning has amazing powers. One bolt heats the air to 30,000 degrees C. That's five times as hot as the surface of the sun. Lightning can frighten pets and kids, start fires, destroy trees, and kill people. Lightning also has the power to make glass. When a bolt of lightning strikes a sandy surface, the electricity can melt the sand. This melted substance combines with other materials. Then it hardens into lumps of glass called fulgurites. (Fulgur is the Latin word for lightning.) Now, scientists are studying fulgurites in Egypt to piece together a history of the region's climate. Thunderstorms are rare in the desert of southwest Egypt. Between 1998 and 2005, satellites in space detected hardly any lightning in the area. Amid the region's sandy dunes, however, fulgurites are common. These lumps and tubes of glass suggest that lightning used to strike there more often in the past. Recently, scientists from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City studied fulgurites that had been collected in Egypt in 1999. When heated, minerals in fulgurites glow. Over time, exposure to natural radiation causes small defects in the glassy fulgurites. The older the material is, the more defects there are, and the stronger the minerals glow at certain wavelengths of light when they're heated. By measuring the intensity of the glow when the samples were heated, the researchers found that the fulgurites formed around 15,000 years ago. The scientists, for the first time, also looked at the gases trapped inside bubbles in the glass. Their chemical analyses showed that the landscape could have supported shrubs and grasses 15,000 years ago. Now, there's only sand. Today, shrubs and grasses grow in the hot, dry climate of Niger, 600 kilometers (375 miles) south of the Egypt site. The researchers suspect that, when the fulgurites were created, the climate in southwest Egypt was similar to present-day conditions in Niger. Fulgurites and their gas bubbles are good windows into the past, scientists say, because such glasses remain stable over time. Analyzing the Egyptian fulgurites, in particular, is "an interesting way of showing that the climate in this region has changed," says Kenneth E. Pickering, an atmospheric scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Even if you're afraid of thunderstorms, the amazing powers of lightning are bound to impress you! And lightning strikes can even tell a story of ancient times.—E. Sohn

Petrified Lightning
Petrified Lightning








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™