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Lightning is a sudden electrostatic discharge that occurs during an electrical storm. This discharge occurs between electrically charged regions of a cloud (called intra-cloud lightning or IC), between two clouds (CC lightning), or between a cloud and the ground (CG lightning). The charged regions in the atmosphere temporarily equalize themselves through this discharge referred to as a strike if it hits an object on the ground, and a flash, if it occurs within a cloud. Lightning causes light in the form of plasma, and sound in the form of thunder. Lightning may be seen and not heard when it occurs at a distance too great for the sound to carry as far as the light from the strike or flash. 


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