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Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown

Ball Lightning

Ball Lightning refers to luminous, usually spherical, atmospheric objects which vary from a few centimetres to several metres in diameter. They are usually associated with thunderstorms. Anecdotal reports suggest that they can 'pass through' solid objects.

Although extensively documented and even photographed, Ball Lightning is currently unexplained.

Laboratory experiments have produced effects that are visually similar to reports of ball lightning, but it is presently unknown whether these are actually related to any naturally occurring phenomenon.

See : Wikipedia

Quote from Emeritus Professor Bob Crompton of the Australian National University

I don't believe there is any satisfactory explanation so far"
[The theories] don't satisfy me and I don't think they satisfy anyone who looks at the evidence objectively."

Source : ABC Science , 2008.

Further reading :

โ€ข First Spectrum of Ball Lightning from the American Physics Society, 2014

โ€ข For a comprehensive look at the history of ball lightning observations, see : Hist. Geo Space. Sci., 12, 43โ€“56, 2021

Also see : Lightningplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigLightning

High powered lightning discharges are happening somewhere on Earth 100 times every second.

A possible mechanism for the very substantial electrical charges within the clouds was put forward in 1978. Following lab-based experiments, it was suggested that the charges arise from the static-electric interactions of graupel (slush) and ice crystals moving within the cloud (due to convection currents caused by widely differing air temperatures) .

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