Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Search NOVA Teachers

Back to Teachers Home

NOVA scienceNOW: Lightning

Program Overview


Researchers investigate how lightning propagates and examine whether cosmic rays from dying stars trigger bolts of lightning.

This NOVA scienceNOW segment:

  • focuses on research efforts that attempt to explain how lightning propagates, a phenomenon researchers are still trying to understand.

  • shows different techniques used to study and measure lightning, such as releasing weather balloons and launching rockets to trigger lightning strikes.

  • describes a new theory in which electrons that move near the speed of light trigger lightning.

  • explains that the source of these high-speed electrons may be cosmic rays emanating from dying stars.

  • relates how X-rays and gamma rays are produced when cosmic rays collide with Earth's atmosphere—these high-energy rays generate high-speed electrons.

Taping Rights: Can be used up to one year after the program is taped off the air.

Teacher's Guide
NOVA scienceNOW: Lightning
WATCH THE VIDEO ONLINE PROGRAM OVERVIEW VIEWING IDEAS RELATED NOVA RESOURCES
   

Support provided by