Q:

Does lightning strike from the ground up?

A:

A lightning bolt is created from the ground up and also down from the sky. Negative charges from a thunderstorm slowly lower to the ground, while positive charges rise from the ground or an object toward the sky. When these two streamers, or ion groups, meet, visible lightning is created.

The rising and lowering streamers are invisible to the human eye, and only become visible when they meet, which causes a lightning bolt from the grounded object to shoot toward the sky. This occurs in a split second, making it nearly impossible to determine from what direction the bolt came. The upward streamer normally forms from the tallest nearby object, but sometimes a smaller object becomes the source of the streamer.

Sources:

  1. nssl.noaa.gov

Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    Does lightning make noise?

    A:

    Thunder, the sound that follows lightning, comes from rapid air expansion around the lightning bolt. The heat from lightning causes the air around the bolt to reach temperatures of over 40,000 degrees Fahrenheit rapidly. The heated air compresses then explodes outwards, forming a shock wave and creating a loud noise.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Does lightning strike up or down?

    A:

    According to the NOAA, the answer is that technically, lightning is a two-way phenomenon. The part that is visible to the naked eye goes from the ground back up to the sky, but only after a path of negatively charged electricity makes its way down from the clouds.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is the sky blue?

    A:

    The sky appears blue because of the scattering of sunlight by atmospheric molecules, or Rayleigh scattering. Rayleigh scattering results in a blue sky because it is most noticeable at shorter wavelengths.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the densest material on Earth?

    A:

    The densest material on earth was created by the Large Hadron Collider and named quark-gluon plasma. The substance can only exist in extremely hot temperatures and is denser than a neutron star.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore