Lightning Strikes! A Sit and Learn About Lightning

Often times we as humans struggle with various road blocks in our lives- in whatever it is that we’re trying to accomplish. It’s hard, frustrating and even annoying. Time seems like it is never going to turn around for the better (as if time was real- HAH!). Then suddenly a BOLT of INSPIRATION STRIKES. In honor of these moments of sparked creativity, I’ve decided to pay homage to the O.G. bolt: Lightning.

Some Cold Hard Facts About Lighting

Lightning is a giant discharge of electricity accompanied by a brilliant flash of light and a loud crack of thunder. The spark can reach over five miles (eight kilometers) in length, raise the temperature of the air by as much as 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit (27,700 degrees Celsius), and contain a hundred million electrical volts.

That’s right. You’re just sitting outside in the rain trying to enjoy a torrential downpour when the comfortable 83 degree air temperature turns suddenly to a most certainly uncomfortable 50,083 degrees of electrical hell. Some religions (none on record) believe that being struck by lightning is a direct symbol of your “existential deep-fry-edness” (copyright Wondergressive 2013).

And have you ever noticed just how many times a single bolt of lightning actually strikes?

The term lightning flash is used to describe the entire discharge, which takes on the order of 0.2 seconds. But a flash is usually made up of several shorter discharges which last less than a millisecond and which repeat rapidly enough that the eye cannot resolve the multiple events. These individual discharges are called strokes. Sometimes the strokes are separated enough in time for the eye to resolve them, and the lightning appears to flicker.

The answer is no, considering that you’re eyes aren’t capable of seeing that fast. But lets just say that you perceive time much slower than the rest of us. This is what it would look like

That’s slowed down to about 7207 images per second. Crazy, huh? Lightning needs to be slowed down to be properly viewed primarily due to the fact that a single bolt is traveling at about 62,000 miles per second–one-third the speed of light.

How does lightning form?

Well this rather silly website gives a simple explanation of how it works: Negative static charge builds up in the atmosphere while positive charges are pull upwards by thunderheads. Once there is enough electrical charge on either side, the insulating properties of the air are overcome. Checkmate wind, I’m taking this tree out!

 

Sources:

http://www.ucar.edu/communications/infopack/lightning/kids.html

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/06/0623_040623_lightningfacts.html
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/electric/lightning2.html

http://eo.ucar.edu/webweather/lightning2.html

One thought on “Lightning Strikes! A Sit and Learn About Lightning

  1. Pingback: Ball Lightning Directly Measured for First Time - Wondergressive

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