Chinese scientists have recorded the rare phenomenon of Ball Lightning for the first time. Take a look at the video… Image © Flickr / StormWlf
The scientists recorded a five-meter-wide flash of spherical orb, a phenomenon known as “ball lightning,” that stayed in the air for about 1.6 seconds.
Image © J. Cen, P. Yuan, and S. Xue, Phys. Rev. Lett. (2014)
Lightning specialist Martin Uman of the University of Florida in Gainesville, said:
“I think that this is a unique observation that is probably of ball lightning, or one type of ball lightning. There have been many research programs that routinely video or photograph natural and triggered lightning, but none, as far as I am aware, has stumbled on a ball lightning.”
This one certainly seems to be made of dirt. Such observations might ultimately suggest how to create ball lightning artificially. We are planning to simulate the observational conditions and reproduce it in the laboratory.”
Ball lightning is an unexplained atmospheric electrical phenomenon. The term refers to reports of luminous, usually spherical objects which vary from pea-sized to several meters in diameter. It is usually associated with thunderstorms, but lasts considerably longer than the split-second flash of a lightning bolt. Many of the early reports say that the ball eventually explodes, sometimes with fatal consequences, leaving behind the odor of sulfur. Despite numerous reports from across the globe, scientists maintained that ball lightning was not a real phenomenon until comparatively recently.