Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Ball lightning

Category: Scientific Phenomena
Ball lightning is a phenomena which was once thought to be a myth, but has gained credence in recent times. It usually manifests itself as a smallish (although some Australians have apparently seen one over 100m in diameter) ball of energy moving slowly near ground level. It either disappates or explodes when making its exit.

Some New Zealand scientists may have found the answer to how it forms - basically a combination of silicon and carbon which is really really hot.

Where I learned it:
Today we had an extended period of moderate-strength rain, accompanied by about 30 minutes of non-stop rolling thunder. No lightning was visible, but the sound continued without pause for at least half an hour. When you were outside, you could hear it moving around into different parts of the sky, like a giant bowling ball. I tried to find out what conditions would have caused it, but came up dry. Instead, I discovered the above information.


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