By Mark Stenhoff B.Sc., M.Phil. (Lond.), C.Phys., M.Inst.P., F.R.A.S., F.R.Met.S. (auth.)
Down comes a deluge of sonorous hail, Or prone-descending rain. Wide-rent, the clouds Pour an entire flood, and but, its flame unquenched, Th’unconquerable lightning struggles via. Ragged and fierce, or in purple whirling balls, And fires the mountains with redoubled rage. Black from the stroke, above, the smould’ring pine Stands a tragic shattered trunk; and, stretched less than, a dull crew the blasted farm animals lie. James Thompson, “The Seasons” (1727) were investigating ball lightning for greater than 20 years. I released a ball lightning document in Nature in 1976 that got around the globe exposure and that i as a result many folks wrote to me with debts in their personal reviews. inside a truly few minutes, I had gathered approximately two hundred firsthand debts, and the dossier has endured to develop progressively on account that then. numerous issues inspired me. Few of these who wrote to me had any distinctive foreknowledge of ball lightning on the time in their commentary. still, as soon as studies of different phenomena reminiscent of St. Elmo’s fireplace have been eradicated, the remainder descriptions have been remarkably constant. in addition, approximately all who contacted me have been willing to have a proof of what that they had visible and appeared totally sincere.
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Down comes a deluge of sonorous hail, Or prone-descending rain. Wide-rent, the clouds Pour an entire flood, and but, its flame unquenched, Th’unconquerable lightning struggles via. Ragged and fierce, or in purple whirling balls, And fires the mountains with redoubled rage. Black from the stroke, above, the smould’ring pine Stands a tragic shattered trunk; and, stretched under, a dull crew the blasted livestock lie.
Translated and revised from the 1986 Russian variation.
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Additional resources for Ball Lightning: An Unsolved Problem in Atmospheric Physics
Blue jets, which are a phenomenon distinct from sprites, are weakly luminous discharges, deep blue in color, that seem to emanate directly from the tops of thunderclouds and shoot upward in narrow cones, about 15° wide, traveling through the stratosphere at a speed of about 100 km s-1. When they reach heights of 40 to 50 km, they fan out and disappear. They have an estimated optical energy of about 4 kJ and a total energy of about 30 MJ. They are not aligned with the local magnetic field. As yet, they remain unexplained, although, like sprites, they are associated with positive lightning.
If signal-to-noise ratio is not zero, then the quest for a valid ball lightning theory is a legitimate goal. This controversy is discussed in Chapter 10. The suggestion that there is more than one type of ball lightning has not been fully incorporated into the discussion of the merits and demerits of different ball lightning models. Some authors have been very critical of the models proposed by others because they do not explain all the reported characteristics of ball lightning. Most ball lightning models set out to explain some of the following reported properties: 1.
Elmo’s fire—must remain in contact with a conductor Side flash/positive afterimage Ball lightning? 2 Ball Lightning Corona Discharge (St. Elmo’s Fire) St. Elmo’s fire is the visible manifestation of corona discharge or corona point discharge, and has also been called brush discharge or glow discharge. It is often blue or bluish white in color, roughly spherical, with a typical diameter of 10 cm, although significantly larger diameters have been reported. Sometimes hissing or buzzing sounds have been described.