What Is Lightning?
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Basic Concepts:

Lightning is an atmospheric phenomenon which electricity travels thru air by breaking the di-electric's air. The lightning can pass thru water, metal objects, and communications (Telephone, TV antennas, Radars) and electrical systems. Lightning can happen at any moment if a region of the atmosphere attains an electric charge sufficiently large to cause electric breakdown of the air. Not necessarily an event storm. When lightning hits an object, it leaves a relation of its channel diameter. Lightning struck in trunks have been measured to have channel diamaters around 0.6 to 5 inches. In sand or rocks measures of it's channel diameter are between 0.2 up to 2 inches. The peak temperature of a lightning surpasses 50,000ºF. Is 4 times greater than the temperature of the Sun (11,000ºF).

Exists 4 types of lightning discharges. The two principal are Cloud to Ground Discharges and the Intracloud Discharges. Also other types not frequently are Cloud to Cloud Lightning and cloud to Air Lightning. Cloud to Ground Discharge is lightning discharges which flashes occur between the thunder-cloud and earth. Intracloud Discharges flashes within thunder-cloud.

Different types of lightnings exists such as heat lightning, ribbon and bead lightning. Heat lightning is an illumination of distant clouds close to the horizon which occurs without thunder and also the lightning channel visibility is absent. Easily seen even when the lightning channel cannot be discerned and at very far away from the observer. Sheet lightning is given to the intracloud discharges which lights up a large cloud area simultaneously and when it seems appears like a complete sheet of light. Depending of the distance from the observer, this could or could not produced audible thunder. Ribbon lightning, a given name for an optical illusion occurring when the cloud to ground lightning is moving sideways for an appreciable distance. Bead lightning is a visual phenomenon when the lightning channel breaks up and is appreciated as segments for tons of yards long. Usually they persist more time than a usual cloud to ground lightning.

People or animals struck by a lightning causes serious health problems even death. Around two-thirds of the people struck by lightning make complete recovery. Probably most of these survivors are really not struck by lightning directly. In case of lightning death, it can be reversible with proper first aid. Usually people involved in lightning accident, their heart and breathing stop instantly; this is medical evidence. Typically hearts starts again but breathing no. Apparently brain damage is suffering and lack of oxygen which require .

Lightning Practical Use:

Practical use for lightning will be great as source of power. For each cloud to ground; a lightning flash generates tens of coulombs of charge at a voltage between 100 million and 100 billion volts. This means that the lightning electrical energy is about 1 to 10 billion watts-seconds. This amount of energy every second is very appreciable and comparable with some electric power generators used to distribute that energy to a country. Unfortunately there’s no efficient method to collect that energy from a lightning because it is impractical to intercept and also the total energy collected will be only a fraction because most of this energy is converted to thunder, heat, light and radio waves.

Precaution and Prevention:

In case of Thunderstorms take this considerations to avoid get struck by lightning;
  • Do not make a lightning rod of yourself.
  • Do not stand beneath a lightning rod and/or any object that could be consider as a path for the lightning channel.
  • Avoid stand close to isolated trees, or any isolated shelter.
  • Stay away from fences, overground pipes, rails or any metallic structure that can make a path to ground.
  • Avoid swimming, fishing standing, or in a boat.
  • In wide-open areas, find a valley, crouch or lie down.
  • Hide inside a car not convertible and with the windshields up.
  • Unplug all your appliances in your home before a thunderstorm.
  • Provide a lightning protection system for your home with a lightning rod or a suppress voltage system.

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