SOCORRO, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Tech scientists are in Chile, working to track lightning in an ash plume from the Chaiten volcano, which began erupting May 2 after thousands of years of silence.
"Our business is studying thunderstorms and how they produce lightning," Tech physics professor Paul Krehbiel said. "Volcanoes do the same thing, in essence. We call it a dirty thunderstorm because the plume is full of dirt, rock, ash and other particles."
Tech scientists will study the path of lightning in the plume to gain understanding of how electrical activity is transmitted from the Earth into the atmosphere.
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