Many people believe that lightning is hotter than the sun. After all, lightning is a bright white light that is very hot to the touch. However, the truth is that lightning is not nearly as hot as the sun. In fact, lightning is only about one-third as hot as the sun. So, is lightning hotter than the sun? Let us find out.
How Hot is Lightning?
Lightning is a big electrical spark that can reach temperatures of up to 30,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That might seem like a lot, but it’s actually only about one-third as hot as the sun. The sun’s surface temperatures are around 11,000 degrees Fahrenheit. So while lightning might be very hot, it’s not nearly as hot as people think.
What Causes Lightning?
Lightning is caused by static electricity. When there are thunderstorms with lots of clouds, the water droplets in the clouds rub together and create static electricity. The static electricity builds up until it has nowhere to go, and then it creates a giant spark of electricity, which we call lightning.
Can Lightning be harnessed?
Yes! In fact, some people believe that we should be harnessing more lightning to power our homes and businesses. Lightning generally strikes somewhere on Earth about 8 million times per day. If we could harness just a fraction of that energy, we could power entire cities!
Lightning vs. the Sun: The main method by which Lightning strikes
Lightning strikes the ground or other objects through its very fast process of thunderstorms. This happens when a difference in electric potential occurs between clouds and the surface of the Earth. The negativity present on the cloud base builds up to such an extent that there is more negative charge than positive charge (an imbalance). This imbalance attracts positively charged particles at higher altitudes to it, leading to a buildup in this manner. As we know, positive charges tend to move towards negatively charged parts; this makes them attract each other, resulting in lightning bolts forming due to towering cumulonimbus clouds.
What temperature is a lightning strike?
A lighting strike can occur at any temperature, depending on the conditions of the storm that is producing it. Typically, during thunderstorms and other turbulent weather events, a lighting strike may occur at temperatures as low as negative 40 degrees Celsius (-40 °F). However, in more mild weather situations, such as a clear day with no clouds or rain present, the average lightning strike will be produced from an ambient air temperature of around 15 to 20 degrees Celsius (60-70 °F).
In either case, though, as long as there is sufficient moisture within the atmosphere for water vapor to transform into ice crystals and liquid droplets, lightning strikes can still occur regardless of the temperature. Therefore, whether you are on a hot summer day or stuck in freezing conditions, you must always remain vigilant for lighting strikes and take the proper precautions to prevent any potential injuries or damage.
In the end
Despite what many people believe, lightning is not nearly as hot as the sun. In fact, it’s only about one-third as hot as the sun’s surface temperature. Lightning is caused by static electricity, and it can be harnessed for power. Who knew such a bright light could be so cool? (Pun intended).