Monday, October 15, 2012

A New Theory Of The Mysterious Origins Of Ball Lightning

A New Theory Of The Mysterious Origins Of Ball Lightning: ...the researchers propose that ball lightning isn’t the result of microwave radiation, antimatter, or slowly burning particles of silicon leftover form lightning strikes (all of which have been theorized as the source of the phenomenon), but of leftover ions that accumulating and interacting with electric fields, often across some kind of dividing plane like a pane of glass (explaining why eyewitness accounts have sometimes described these glowing orbs as passing through glass.
Essentially, the paper theorizes that streams of ions--electrically charged particles--leftover from normal lightning strikes or some other source like aircraft radars (which also explains why the phenomenon has been associated with flying aircraft) accumulate on some thin planar surface like a glass window, creating an electric field on the other side. This field excites air molecules around it an in extreme cases cause a ball discharge--which can dissipate harmlessly or burst with some (terrifying) force.

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