Damn those freaking lightnings. Science Asylum explains what the heck they are


Nick Lucid, no, he is not lucid, explains what lightnings are and how do they form. On Science Asylum he has great videos that explain a ton of things from the world around us. Subscribe now and don’t miss any episode.

Now, back to lightnings, 90% strike within the clouds or from one cloud to the other. You need cumulonimbus clouds, those bulky ash looking clouds, also called storm clouds. Inside those clouds there are a ton of water crystals that are flying around like crazy.Those crystals will have the positive charges on the outside and the negative charges on the inside.

Since these crystals are hitting each other at a high rate, some pieces of them will break and they will contain mostly positive charge. After a while the negative charge will build up at the bottom of the cloud and the positive at the upper part.

Now that we have a ton of negative charge in the bottom of that cloud, it will push away the electrons of the ground and the ground will now be positively charged. Fun fact: a few seconds before the lightning strikes your hair will stick up.

After the earth becomes positively charged the air will, too, become charged and will form patches of conductivity that are 100 – 160 feet away from each other. When these patches reach the cloud, the lightning strikes in 1/4 seconds sending 1 – 10 coulombs of charge each second with peaks of 4-40 amps.

But the strike is not continuous. It happens in bursts and each suck stroke could carry 2000 – 20000 amps. The lighting heats up the air up to 28 000 degrees Celsius and this is why its color is bright blue.

Also, learn more about the device he used to generate those discharges at the end of the video (via):

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