Scientists have created the first artificial volcano capable of simulating the lightning flashes seen in real-life eruptions.Volcanic eruptions are amongst the most powerful geologic events known to humankind. They, and the trails of lava and ashes that follow, can destroy whole civilizations almost in an instant. (See also "Volcanoes; Earth's Fiery Power".)However, little is known about a phenomenon that’s tightly linked to volcanic eruptions: electricity.Electrical discharges often occur at the same time as explosive eruptions, especially in ash plumes—eruptions that eject only small particles, less than 2 millimeters in diameter. So far, our understanding of volcanic lightning has been severely limited by the challenge of studying an exploding volcano.