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Ball lightning

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 35,527 Gordon


    This new forum actually stirred a little wind inside me (metaphorically) that was started some time ago watching a program on spontaneous combustion. One of the explanations put forward for a reason of spontaneous combustion was a theoretical ball lightning. We now seem to know that spontaneous combustion is simply a fire that slowly burns the body akin to a candle due to the fat content. It then dwindles away leaving the feet and arms with the less fat content.

    ...anyway..

    Does ball lightning exist? And if so des it really travel like a small orbish ufo?


Comments



  • I saw a science prog many moons ago in which an example of ball lightning was created dont ask me what technique they used but it was definitly a ball of lightning which zoomed across the room
    (in slow motion) it was quite small, cricket-ball sized.

    Mike.




  • Yeah, it does exist.
    Discovery channels are great for programmese on stuff like that.

    Theres a whole section of the Boston Science museum dedicated to Lightning, I was there last year.
    They have a huge lightning machine that generates real bolts of lightning with the same usual milions of volts that you would get in a real storm, Forked lightning!!!

    There are metal bars arranged in a circle between the audience and the lightning generator .
    The lightning will not go outside the metal bars.
    The lightning show put on there is just amazing and the noise from the bolts is deafening as you are just metres away from them.

    The Guy doing the show sometimes asks for a volunteer to enter a cage lift during the lighning show which rises up during the "storm". Inside that lift you are just inches from the lightning but cannot be hurt as you are surrounded by a metal mesh.
    Here are Images of the lightning show in Boston.

    Regarding Ball lightning, I remember watching a discovery documentary a while back which reconstructed a lightning strike on a house in the States. The lightning had traveled down a cable into the house and appeared in the kitchen as a small sphere which bounced furiously around the room untill it died out-Scary!
    mm




  • Cool pics man.

    Interesting thing from the website as well. I always though the safety you got from lightning and stuff (like when you're in a car)was from the Faraday Cage thing. Apparently this only applies to static electricity and another process is at work with lightning.

    So I got to see some cool pics and I'm a little smarter. Result.




  • Originally posted by DapperGent
    Interesting thing from the website as well. I always though the safety you got from lightning and stuff (like when you're in a car)was from the Faraday Cage thing. Apparently this only applies to static electricity and another process is at work with lightning.
    something I remember from the Boston show was the lecturer telling us that Lightning when it goes to ground ie strikes something, it is actually travelling from the ground up and not the other way around.
    ( it doesn't look like that but seemingly is the case )
    When you see it in the sky but not hitting something on the ground it is bouncing from cloud to cloud.

    He explained that as the other reason at work and why you are safe in a car.
    Basically lightning cannot be grounded if you are not touching the ground, unless the car exhaust is hanging off:D
    I'd not heard that before.
    I believe him but I'm still not going to test out his theory by hand gliding or summat during the next bad storm I see:p
    mm


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