What Causes Lightning?



Dangerous and beautiful are two words that come to mind when thinking about lightning. Imagine what you might have thought if you were an early human experiencing a lightning storm for the first time. You probably would have thought the world was coming to an end! We now know the science behind these storms, but that doesn’t make them any less incredible. Here’s how lightning forms (and how to stay safe if you’re caught in a storm.



1. Lightning is an electrostatic discharge.
The appearance of lightning tells you something about what it is, which is an electric current or electrostatic discharge. An electrostatic discharge occurs when electricity flows between two objects that have an electric charge.

2. Lightning forms when an electric charge builds up in a thundercloud.
During a thunderstorm, water vapor in clouds turns into chunks of ice. The ice isn’t always heavy enough to fall to the ground, so it just moves around in the thundercloud, with a bunch of pieces bumping into one another. All of this bumping builds up an electric charge. The positive charges move to the top of the cloud (because they’re lighter), and the negative charges move to the bottom. Eventually, there’s enough charge in the top and the bottom that the positive and negative charges meet in a spark. That spark is lightning.



3. Being struck by lightning is no mild experience.
Some lightning remains within the clouds, but some strikes the ground or tall objects like trees. It can travel at speeds between ⅓ and ½ the speed of light, which is incredibly fast indeed. That means you have essentially no time to get out of the way. In addition, lightning is even hotter than the surface of the sun, at about 53,000 degrees F. If there’s a storm around you, the best place to be is inside. If you can’t be inside, stay away from tall objects and try to stay as low to the ground as possible. Lightning will strike something like a tree before it will reach a human, but if you’re all that’s available, you’ll become a human lightning rod in no time.
 
Aug 12, 2020
1
0
10
the clouds having two same large amount of charges collide then the charge will be discharged so we can see in the form of lightning
 
Oct 13, 2020
4
0
10


Dangerous and beautiful are two words that come to mind when thinking about lightning. Imagine what you might have thought if you were an early human experiencing a lightning storm for the first time. You probably would have thought the world was coming to an end! We now know the science behind these storms, but that doesn’t make them any less incredible. Here’s how lightning forms (and how to stay safe if you’re caught in a storm.



1. Lightning is an electrostatic discharge.
The appearance of lightning tells you something about what it is, which is an electric current or electrostatic discharge. An electrostatic discharge occurs when electricity flows between two objects that have an electric charge.

2. Lightning forms when an electric charge builds up in a thundercloud.
During a thunderstorm, water vapor in clouds turns into chunks of ice. The ice isn’t always heavy enough to fall to the ground, so it just moves around in the thundercloud, with a bunch of pieces bumping into one another. All of this bumping builds up an electric charge. The positive charges move to the top of the cloud (because they’re lighter), and the negative charges move to the bottom. Eventually, there’s enough charge in the top and the bottom that the positive and negative charges meet in a spark. That spark is lightning.



3. Being struck by lightning is no mild experience.
Some lightning remains within the clouds, but some strikes the ground or tall objects like trees. It can travel at speeds between ⅓ and ½ the speed of light, which is incredibly fast indeed. That means you have essentially no time to get out of the way. In addition, lightning is even hotter than the surface of the sun, at about 53,000 degrees F. If there’s a storm around you, the best place to be is inside. If you can’t be inside, stay away from tall objects and try to stay as low to the ground as possible. Lightning will strike something like a tree before it will reach a human, but if you’re all that’s available, you’ll become a human lightning rod in no time.
Lightning is fascinating. One thing that causes increased lightning are cosmic rays. With The solar shutdown it allows Reese rays into our earth atmosphere much more which is currently resulting in record lightning as well as higher occurrences of rate lightning such as sprites, more powerful discharges and of course with a more charged earth we will inevitably see larger more powerful storm systems organize and more volcanic and earthquake activity. You interested in lightning? You should dive into cosmic rays and their effects! Suspicious observers on YouTube talks about them and the most recent observations and studies. Check him out!
 
Oct 13, 2020
4
0
10
Lightning is an electrostatic discharge that can result from volcanic activity, heightened cosmic rays, solar activity (increased solar wind/geomagnetic storm conditions), weather systems of varying pressure and temperature colliding and human caused through various devices to harness energy. Currently earth is entering a time of increased lightning due to earth's sun has decreased its solar wind activity which is allowing more cosmic rays in which is already resulting in rare lightning displays, which no doubt will increase.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

Latest posts