Most powerful gigantic jet lightning bolt ever

The sky turns dark, a heavy rain falls and a bolt of lightning crackles through the air. But instead of striking down toward the ground, or zipping sideways between clouds, this lightning bolt does something unexpected: It blasts straight upward from the top of the cloud, shooting 50 miles (80 kilometers) into the sky, grazing the lower edge of space .

Bolts like these are called gigantic jets. They are the rarest and most powerful sort of lightning, occurring as few as 1,000 times a year and emitting more than 50 times as much energy as a typical lightning bolt — and now, scientists have just detected the single most powerful gigantic jet yet.

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