The Formation of Lightning

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It is possible that lightning was present on Earth long before life evolved on our planet about three billion years ago. Lightning is also considered to have played a role in producing the organic molecules necessary for the formation of every life form. All ancient civilizations incorporated lightning and thunder in their religious beliefs.


A lightning discharge that involves an object on ground or in the atmosphere is sometimes referred to as a "lightning strike". The term stroke or component stroke apply only to components of cloud to ground discharges. Each stroke involves a downward leader and an upward return stroke, and may involve a relatively low level "continuing current" that immediately follows the return stroke. Transient processes occurring in a lightning channel while it carries continuing current are termed M-components. First strokes are initiated by "stepped" leaders while subsequent strokes formed by previously formed channels are initiated by "dart" or "dart-stepped" leaders (Rakov & Uman: 4).
extreme heat. A lightning bolt is hotter than the surface of the sun. The wild electricity in lightnings when harnessed, produce power supply for human use. Lightnings are of several types (Google image, 2008).
The various stages in the formation of a bolt of lightning (Figure 1.) is as follows: First, cumulonimbus clouds which are towering clouds that spread out on the top, occur between 1,600 and 60,000 feet in the atmosphere, and are associated with heavy thunderstorms, rainfall and lightning. ...
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