All posts tagged lightning

It’s been awhile since I made a regular post, what with the release of the reading and all the excitement around that. It’s been fun and thoroughly enjoyable, but I really need to post the last article in the series on ball lightning.

The Wikipedia entry on it says, “. . . the true nature of ball lightning is unknown.” Against that disappointment it has a list of accounts of it, so you might find it interesting anyway.

Physicsworld has several articles on the phenomenon. The two most recent concentrate on silicon nanoparticles kicked out of the soil by a lightning strike, and transcranial magnetic stimulation of the visual cortex. has a story about scientists who have generated plasma clouds in the laboratory which resemble ball lightning.

Finally, reports on a theory proposed this year that focused on the ball lightning that occurs in enclosed spaces, such as houses and airplanes. Significantly, this theory, supported by a mathematical solution, accounts for the way ball lightning has been reported to pass through glass. The nanoparticle and plasma hypotheses, for instance, do not accommodate passing through such a physical barrier.

Ball lightning is still mysterious, and the few people who get to witness it still find it to be a transcendent, if sometimes fatal, experience. But thanks to science, we’re also getting closer to understanding it.

See also parts one and two.


By the vocal demand of loyal readers, we will explore ball lightning in more detail. The original article was quite general.

Ball lightning is usually reported to occur during thunderstorms, most often associated with a real lightning discharge. However, many of the reports have it appearing during fine weather with no storms around. This raises many possibilities, such as: there is more than one kind, or they are different phenomena, or people are mistaken or lying. Continue Reading

Ball lightning is still a mystery. One thing it certainly is not is evidence of paranormal activity. But what it is is not as certain.

Ball lightning is a rarely observed event. Fewer than five percent of people will see it even once in their lifetime. Those who do see it are among the privileged few, unless it kills them, which happens even more rarely. Photographs are nearly non-existent, given the low likelihood of an observer having a camera at the time and the briefness of the encounter. Continue Reading