[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: Ball Lightning
Original poster: "resonance" <resonance@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
This may be one explanation of ball lightning, however, I have
witnessed it firsthand, and suspect it was an electrostatic
effect. It formed under the guy wires of a large radio tower in the
Baraboo, Wisconsin, bluffs. It would form and sometimes release from
this v-shaped area. It would persist for 10-30 seconds before softly
exploding. Sometimes it would also travel down the power wires
delivering power to the transmitter site located at the base of the
tower. These would persist for a longer period of time, sometimes as
long as 45-60 seconds and travel 200-300 feet before popping. I was a
friend of the station engineer (fellow ham opr) and he invited me up
one summers evening to witness it as it occured for nearly 1 hour.
The radio engineer who lived with his family in a house adjacent to
the transmitter had an incident in which a large ball came through a
wall and terrified his wife before exploding.
After this occured leaves were noted piling up in a symetrical circle
around the base of the tower suggesting an electrostatic effect of
sorts. It should also be noted the tower is anchored in a quartzite
bluff nearly 600 feet high. The tower is an additional 600 feet above ground.
Now I have something to try.
"EWAdams writes to point us to a New Scientist report that the mysterious
phenomenon of ball lighting has now been created in a Brazilian research
lab. The phenomenon has long been reported anecdotally but never explained
or understood. Scientists have devised numerous possible explanations,
including mini black holes left over from the Big Bang, but have had little
success in producing working examples. From the article:
"A more down-to-earth theory... is that ball lightning forms when lightning
strikes soil, turning any silica in the soil into pure silicon vapor. As the
vapor cools, the silicon condenses into a floating aerosol bound into a ball
by charges that gather on its surface, and it glows with the heat of silicon
recombining with oxygen. To test this idea, a [Brazilian] team... took
wafers of silicon just 350 micrometers thick, placed them between two
electrodes and zapped them with currents of up to 140 amps. Then... they
moved the electrodes slightly apart, creating an electrical arc that
vaporised the silicon. The arc spat out glowing fragments of silicon but
also, sometimes, luminous orbs the size of ping-pong balls that persisted
for up to 8 seconds.""