Author Topic: Ball Lightning  (Read 7172 times)

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AaronFarquhar

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Ball Lightning
« on: 13 September 2008, 05:55:55 PM »
Hey Guys,
               Just one topic i would like to chat about is Ball Lightning or lightning balls, As i have heard this occurence is very rare to have been caught on film or photo, I would love to get one of these on film, so i will spend my time trying to hunt these down and see if i can get it, I have heard alot of accounts of where these balls of lightning have jumped through house windows and taken out people, Its a very extraordinary thing, Has anyone ever come across this or heard of any experiences? Also does anyone have any idea what may cause this?

Offline Harley Pearman

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Re: Ball Lightning
« Reply #1 on: 15 September 2008, 10:03:50 AM »
Aaron
Ball lightning

I have never seen it but it is an interesting topic. It is explained in my book "Extreme Weather". Up until 2007, it is a phenomena that has not been videotaped, positively photograped or otherwise recorded scientifically in the natural world.

Attempts at reproducing ball lightning in laboratory simulations have been successful.

Lightning balls range in size from from less than 2.5 cm across to over 1.8 metres in diameter but they average 10 cm to 60 cm range with most reports referring to "basketball size". The duration of the observations ranged from less than one second to over two minutes but average 1 to 4 seconds. The colour has been described as white, red, orange,, yellow, green, blue, violet or a mix of several of these colours. The most common colour reported is white, yellow or orange.

The balls dissipate with an explosive bang or alternatively they may silently fade away. They have been observed to rotate, roll or even bounce off the ground but they usually move slowly and in a horizontal direction. They can penetrate steel screens, glass windows and small holes. Some observations have reported the balls making a hissing, buzzing or fluttering sound and leaving an acrid odour.

The intensity of lightning balls is not great being the brightness of a 60 Watt light bulb. In almost all cases, the balls maintain the same shape, size, colour and motion during their short life time.

Lightning balls have been known to hit people causing a burn or singe mark but there are no known human fatalities.

How they occur:

The balls are almost always observed seconds after a nearby cloud to ground lightning strike of ordinary lightning Theories as to what causes the formation of ball lightning includes one that postulates the balls have an internal energy source, probably particles ejected from the Earth when a normal lightning strike hits then somehow becomes electrified and airborne. A person called Abrahamson and J Dinnis has a theory and suggests that silicon nano particles evaporated from sand by the lightning strike forms a ball and by their oxidation illuminates the ball.

Rakov and Uman (University of Florida has concluded that there may be more than one type of ball lightning and more than one mechanism that creates it. Similar phenomena has been known to occur from high powered electrical appliances in the absence of nearby thunderstorms.

There are very few photographs floating around of ball lightning but there is one which is in my book showing ball lightning close to a power pole taken in Japan. Generally photographs of it is very rare.

Taken from (Extreme Weather - Thunderstorms and hail) Christopher C Burt 2007).

Harley Pearman

AaronFarquhar

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Re: Ball Lightning
« Reply #2 on: 15 September 2008, 10:56:48 AM »
Wow, Thanks Harley,
                                I find them very facinating and exciting, i hope to oneday catch one on film, would be cool, but till then ill keep on chasing and filming, Thanks mate for that info it was very interesting, Thanks alot, Aaron

Offline nmoir

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Re: Ball Lightning
« Reply #3 on: 17 September 2008, 02:18:47 AM »
When i was a child of 7 yrs my family were staying in a motel in Warwick in QLD in 1983 , a storm was putting out a lot of lightning and me and my dad were standing at a glass door watching , i was apparently a bit nervous and my dad told me there was nothing to be scared of when at that moment a glowing ball came fizzing and bouncing around the yard infront of us it then hit the glass door infront of us and disappeared............

i think that may have been the moment i bacame interested in severe weather
Nick Moir
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The Sydney Morning Herald
and www.oculi.com.au

AaronFarquhar

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Re: Ball Lightning
« Reply #4 on: 17 September 2008, 04:06:10 AM »
Nmoir? wow, that would have been amazing, i can just picture it now, awesome, do u remember if there was any noise or what colour the ball was?

Offline nmoir

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Re: Ball Lightning
« Reply #5 on: 17 September 2008, 04:30:42 AM »
i only vaguely remember a softball sized shape crackling and buzzing , white in colour
Nick Moir
Photographer
The Sydney Morning Herald
and www.oculi.com.au

AaronFarquhar

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Re: Ball Lightning
« Reply #6 on: 17 September 2008, 04:59:38 AM »
AWESOME, I want to try and get one on film, its going to be hard i know, but with my time and patience i might eventually

Offline Mike

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Re: Ball Lightning
« Reply #7 on: 17 September 2008, 07:08:53 AM »
Can't say I've ever seen it either and given its rarity it would be something that would be quite fast and non-believable to oneself at the time!  With the lack of data or footage it probably shows how rare it is or infrequent ball lightning occurs.

*Nice to see you posting Nick!
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Lightning Research 2010/14

AaronFarquhar

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Re: Ball Lightning
« Reply #8 on: 17 September 2008, 11:26:07 AM »
This is the only picture i have come across that shows ball lightning, as you can see its an old picture which means it was takin sometime ago and therefore no one else has got one yet



Offline nmoir

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Re: Ball Lightning
« Reply #9 on: 18 September 2008, 02:47:03 PM »
heres another photo and a video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ioN-3UWYrY

mike , i might stop again if these storm systems keep maxing on saturdays , the ONLY day i cant chase!!!!
Nick Moir
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The Sydney Morning Herald
and www.oculi.com.au

AaronFarquhar

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Re: Ball Lightning
« Reply #10 on: 18 September 2008, 04:26:37 PM »
wow, thanks Nick, That video was interesting, Thanks for sharing that with me, Aaron