We all learned in science that the dispersion of light is responsible for the blue sky. But did you know that lighting also shares a wide spectrum of colors.
But first, you should understand the science behind lightning.
What is lightning?
Lightning is described as a conspicuous electrical discharge from a cloud. This happens when there is a significant enough charge imbalance between a region of the cloud and another surface. This is usually the atmosphere, a building, another region of the same cloud, or another cloud to bypass air resistance.
As aforementioned, Lightning is available in a varied spectrum of colors like Red, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue, and Violet. It’s almost always white but frequently tinged with a different color around the edges.
Aside from white, the three most prominent colors you can spot are blue, yellow, and violet. The color of the bolt is determined by its temperature. The colder the lightning, the closer the color would be to the far end of the spectrum.
The most unusual and alarming lighting color is green. Green lighting indicates that a tornado might be on its way. This phenomena occurs later in the day when the sun gets closer to the horizon. While the sky may appear reddish during the sunset, the sky is mainly blue. When a blue object is illuminated with red light, it appears to be green. And in the occurrence of a 12-mile-high thundercloud, green lighting is an apparent sight.
Let’s go more into the deep and know more about what happens when the sky lights up green?
Greenlight in the sky, what that means?
Green lightning is significant, but it is not proof that a tornado is on its way. A green cloud will only occur if the cloud is very deep, which generally only occurs in thunderstorm clouds. Those are the types of storms that can produce hail and tornadoes. Green lightning does indicate that the cloud is extremely tall, and because thunderclouds are the tallest clouds, green is a warning sign that large hail or a tornado is on the way.
Green lightning has only been photographed once when the Chaiten volcano in Chile erupted. Spewing an ash cloud into the atmosphere. Volcanic ash often contains lightning bolts, a phenomenon known as volcanic lightning. This time, the plume of ash contained an eerie green lightning bolt. Carlos Gutierrez took this incredible photograph.
But how does that indicate towards a tornado?
Different forms of lightning
Interestingly, green lighting is not the only one that indicate us about a natural disaster. Different color of lighting can indicate different situations.
Based on the conditions in the clouds and the air, lightning will also change its color.
After learning of the different colors of light, it made me wonder which amongst them is the most powerful of all.
White: most powerful lightning color
White is the most dangerous color of lighting. It suggests both a low concentration of moisture and a high concentration of dust in air. We all are aware that being hit by lightning can have serious consequences. Being struck directly by lightning will result in cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest, memory loss, epilepsy, and extreme burns all over the body.
While researching about lightning, I also came across the fact that there are rare types of lightning too. You will be amused to know about the four rarest types of lightning.
1. Ball Lightning
Ball lightning appears just as the name suggests. No enigmatic. People have recorded reports of steadily spinning spheres of light, often the size of a grapefruit. It’s floating above the ground during electrical storms for years. The ball sometimes passes through a closed window or can also emerges. It almost always blinks out of existence after ten seconds.
Sprites are small creatures that live in the ground. They are red, jellyfish-shaped electrical bursts that dance over thunderstorms. It begins as balls of light and then streams downward. They seem to be caused by lightning striking below storm clouds, causing an excess in charges above them.
Elves and sprites aren’t that dissimilar. They are both very quick and extremely light. Elves, or sprites, can be seen above the clouds in bright daylight. Instead of dancing hoops, elves pose as rings or halos. They’re not little in size, elves can span 185 miles (300 kilometers).
4. Dark Lightning
This unusual form of lightning produces very little visible light. Dark lightning is made up of high-energy electrons that interfere with air particles to emit toxic gamma rays, while normal lightning is made up of comparatively sluggish electrons that pass electrical currents through clouds or toward the earth.
Mother Nature is truly creative!
We have always heard that lightning are dangerous and we must be cautious, but no one told us that lightning can be this beautiful. From different colors of lightning to the rarest types, we covered everything in this blog. This has made me curious about other rare occurrences of nature, so while you finish reading this I’m already researching about other intriguing nature’s events.
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