Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lightning ~ Still Mysterious

The cause of lightning is still in dispute. Some scientists think it occurs when the atmosphere changes due to wind, friction, pressure and humidity. Others think it comes from solar wind and charged solar particles. Most agree that ice in the clouds may be a key element. Lightning can occur during thunderstorms, volcanic eruptions or dust storms. A leader bolt can travel 60,000 miles an hour and reach temperatures of 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Estimates are that the Earth experiences 16 million lightning storms a year.

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