I have an NASA Inspire VLF-3 radio receiver kit that I'm going to put together. It amplifies VLF electromagnetic signals that are already in the audio frequency range and makes them audible. One of the interesting things that it may make audible are VLF whistlers, signals that are triggered by lightning strikes and produced by the response of charged particles in the ionosphere orbiting around lines of the Earth's magnetic field.

I know that there are both spacecraft and ground stations that detect and report lightning activity, but are there websites where I can get "lightning frequency maps" in near-real time (worldwide)? I live in Asia near 25 N latitude.

I've asked separately What are the optimal times and conditions to listen for whistlers?

NASA Inspire VLF-3

Click for full size.

Absolutely: The Blitzortung project has near real-time data for most if not all of the world.

I've also never taken the time to research how lightning detectors exactly work, but it's likely similar... and you can read about the Blitzortung instrument here.

Windy.com also appears to now have lightning data over at least the largest part of the globe (perhaps using the Blitzortung source). And though it's not for your region, GOES new satellites also have a lightning detector on them, which you can view at some data from on any of the GLM links on this page.

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    I love it, thanks! – uhoh Jul 22 at 7:56

Here is another one -Lightning hits across the world

You can also look at the TRMM lightning sensor data for older periods - Lightning Sensor

Here is another site that shows world wide lightning strikes - WWLN and for those searching for lightning strikes in the Americas here is the link - Americas Lightning Strikes

  • That's an interesting site, do you know where their data come from? – uhoh Jul 22 at 9:42
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    @uhoh The lightning data you mean ? I am guessing NASA or perhaps some ground observation stations world wide. Best way is to contact Kachelmann. – gansub Jul 22 at 9:46
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    @uhoh - yes I did see that comment. Cheralite - I was not aware of it. – gansub Oct 22 at 1:46

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