Musings on optics, physics, astronomy, technology and life

(Part of an ongoing, occasional series of posts.)

Apparently a German observatory was testing out a new laser guide star system, to be installed at the Paranal Observatory in Chile, when a thunderstorm blew in. A photographer captured the laser beam appearing to melt into the lightning bolt — it almost looks as if humans are attacking nature and nature is striking back.

I’m not sure if I would have permission to reprint this photo, so I’ll just point you to the relevant post on the New Scientist website. It’s worth seeing.

The laser-and-lightning combo also reminds me of an upside-down “beam tree.” What’s a beam tree, you ask? I promise it will be the subject of a “Cool Photo” post in the future!

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