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Lightning

by Kenneth

A lightning flash can happen in half a second. In that instant, the lightning flash superheats the surrounding air to a temperature five times hotter than that on the surface of the sun.

Nearby air expands and vibrates forming sound that we hear as thunder. Sound travels more slowly than light so it seems that the thunder occurs later.

The cloud bottom carries a negative charge. Positive charges may collect on the ground, buildings, boat masts, mountaintops or trees.

A negative electrical charge made of zig-zagging segments, or steps comes partway down from the cloud.



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