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White-Hot Show

A blast of white-hot lightning crackles over Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano on Sunday. Clouds of volcanic ash from Eyjafjallajökull have snarled European air traffic for nearly a week.

National Geographic Your Shot submitter Peter Vancoillie took the photograph from about 18 miles (30 kilometers) away from the volcanic lightning storm, which not "unlike a regular old thunderstorm," said Martin Uman, a lightning expert at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

The same ingredients are present: water droplets, ice, and possibly hail—all interacting with each other and with particles, in this case ash from the eruptions, to cause electrical charging, Uman said. (See pictures of the Iceland volcano's ash plume.)

The volcanic-lightning pictures are "really very sensational," Uman said. "Somebody ought to be up there with an HD movie camera—it's ready for the IMAX theater."

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Nature & Adventure

The beauty of lotus at West Lake

The beauty of lotus at West Lake

There are many beautiful flowers in Hanoi. However, the lotus leaves the deepest impression. When the lotus blooms, many people, especially the youth, go to West Lake to enjoy the healthy atmosphere and to escape the noise and dust of the city.<br>