Science: Bolts from the Heavens

A new theory about lightning suggests a cosmic-ray connection

The ancient Greeks believed that lightning bolts were hurled from the heavens by a wrathful Zeus. Modern science has shown that the bolts are actually great electrical discharges between clouds and earth. A new theory by a Johns Hop kins scientist indicates that there might be some truth in the old myth after all. At a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco last week, Physicist James W. Follin Jr. of Johns Hopkins University theorized that lightning is probably triggered by cosmic rays from deep space.

Scientists generally agree on the basic...

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