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Mr. Milton Banana
2004-Apr-16, 02:45 AM
My understanding is that outside of Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune have lightning-although I remember reading somewhere that Neptune's lightning is about as weak as Earth's.

My main point of excitement about the Cassini mission is finding out how violent the thunderstorms are on Saturn.

As for Venus-there has been a lot of controversy about it-and the latest I've heard is that Venus has no lightning.

8)

BOB2.0
2004-Apr-16, 03:40 AM
As a guess I would say we can rule out mercury and pluto no atmospheres and all.

Mr. Milton Banana
2004-Apr-16, 03:51 AM
As a guess I would say we can rule out mercury and pluto no atmospheres and all.

I think we can go out on a limb on that one. :wink:

:D

pteranodon
2004-Apr-16, 01:17 PM
As a guess I would say we can rule out mercury and pluto no atmospheres and all.

Seems correct, because lightning can form when an atmosfere is dense enough to allow charge separation and a non-conductive medium on which the charges can build up such as volcanic dust, sand, water droplets, gas clouds, et cetera.

Swift
2004-Apr-16, 02:28 PM
Does Mars have lightning? I believe dust storms on Earth can create lightning, what about Martian dust storms?

Dgennero
2004-Apr-16, 02:49 PM
None recorded so far.
If we include other bodies than planets, Titan might have lightning, since its atmosphere at ground level is about 1.5 as strong as earth's.
Does Huygens have the instruments to check that?

aurora
2004-Apr-16, 04:51 PM
As a guess I would say we can rule out mercury and pluto no atmospheres and all.

Pluto has an atmosphere, but it probably freezes out as it moves out in its elliptical orbit.

At least, that's what I recall reading somewhere.

Tranquility
2004-Apr-16, 05:02 PM
If we include other bodies than planets, Titan might have lightning, since its atmosphere at ground level is about 1.5 as strong as earth's.
Does Huygens have the instruments to check that?

Wow really :o ?
I didnt know Titan's ground level pressure was 1.5 atm.

Captain Kidd
2004-Apr-16, 05:09 PM
As for Venus-there has been a lot of controversy about it-and the latest I've heard is that Venus has no lightning.

8)What part of Venus's atmospheric makeup would prevent lightning?

Bob
2004-Apr-16, 05:38 PM
A NASA publication dated 1996 states that "Lightning discharges have been detected on every planet with an atmosphere except for Mars and Neptune."

Kullat Nunu
2004-Apr-16, 05:50 PM
None recorded so far.
If we include other bodies than planets, Titan might have lightning, since its atmosphere at ground level is about 1.5 as strong as earth's.
Does Huygens have the instruments to check that?

I think Cassini will detect lightning on Titan if it occurs there.

Kebsis
2004-Apr-16, 07:25 PM
Would it be possible to use the effect that creates lightning as a source of energy? Like fill up a container with a certain type of gas, and then as long as they do their thing they will produce energy?

pteranodon
2004-Apr-16, 08:21 PM
Would it be possible to use the effect that creates lightning as a source of energy? Like fill up a container with a certain type of gas, and then as long as they do their thing they will produce energy?

I'm afraid not. For instance, here on Earth charge separation occurs by mechanical separation. The energy source is the sun, not the cloud particles themselves.

darkdev
2004-Apr-16, 08:37 PM
How about an extension cord running all the way to the sun's core? =) (j/k)

...here on Earth charge separation occurs by mechanical separation.
I thought it was the rotation of the earth that generated cloud mechanics. I saw a very cool experiement where a big bowl of water was spun until the waters motion was basically uniform. Then drops of dye where added, and behold, cloud systems, with tornado/hurricane-type formations.

pteranodon
2004-Apr-17, 03:27 AM
How about an extension cord running all the way to the sun's core? =) (j/k)

...here on Earth charge separation occurs by mechanical separation.
I thought it was the rotation of the earth that generated cloud mechanics. I saw a very cool experiement where a big bowl of water was spun until the waters motion was basically uniform. Then drops of dye where added, and behold, cloud systems, with tornado/hurricane-type formations.

You are right, planetary rotation dictates cloud formation in synoptic scale. However, mostly clouds individually form from raising pockets of air, a convective motion caused by hot air (we are not talking about orographic clouds here).

The larger particles tend to group next to base of the cloud while the updrafts carry the smaller particles to the top of the cumulonimbus cloud. Charge separation occurs because the larger hail, when colliding with ice crystals, concentrate negative charges while the smaller ice crystals aquire positive charge.

Spacewriter
2004-Apr-17, 03:30 AM
Venus does sustain electrical discharges in its atmosphere, but from what I understand, they're not the sort of "bolt of lightning" things we we experience here on Earth.

Mr. Milton Banana
2004-Apr-17, 06:43 AM
A NASA publication dated 1996 states that "Lightning discharges have been detected on every planet with an atmosphere except for Mars and Neptune."

I dunno-I find it hard to believe that Neptune doesn't have lightning, especially given that its weather is perhaps the most violent in the solar system.

I wish I could remember where I read about Neptune's lightning. :( All I remember is that it wasn't observed directly, and that it was as weak as Earth's.

I'm off to do a little search on Google and see what I turn up...

Mr. Milton Banana
2004-Apr-17, 07:02 AM
Lightning on Neptune:

http://cc.ysu.edu/physics-astro/column/july111999.html


Satellites have also watched lightning in the atmospheres of all the planets in our solar system that have atmospheres - Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Jovian lightning was a favorite target of the Galileo spacecraft during its recent primary mission to Jupiter. Images of lightning on Jupiter show that lightning is much brighter there than on Earth.

http://www.shomepower.com/dict/l/lightning.htm


Space probes have photographed lightning on Jupiter and recorded indications of it on Venus, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

http://www.channel4.com/science/microsites/P/planetstorm/alien2.html


Neptune and Saturn are also surrounded by swirling cloud bands that, like Jupiter, may contain constantly raging thunderstorms. On Jupiter, Neptune and Saturn, it's likely that the giant thunderstorms raging through their atmospheres create super-tornadoes with wind speeds, updraughts and damage potential far greater than those on Earth.

http://216.239.39.104/search?q=cache:w_kzRsO7s04J:www.newton.dep.anl.gov/newton/askasci/1993/astron/AST038.HTM+Neptune+(lightning)&hl=en&ie=UTF-8


Question: Is there thunder and lightning in outer space?
------------------------------------------------
Lightning is a huge electrical discharge; thunder is the sound
waves produced by the very rapid expansion (due to heating) of the atmosphere through which the lightning passes. There is probably not lightning and certainly not thunder in the near-vacuum of space; however, lightning has been observed (by space probes) on Jupiter, and there is evidence of lightning on Venus, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Saturn's moon Titan. No doubt wherever there is lightning on any of these bodies there is also what we would call thunder (but probably no inhabitant to hear it!)-Ronald Winther

8)

BOB2.0
2004-Apr-18, 03:58 AM
As a guess I would say we can rule out mercury and pluto no atmospheres and all.

Pluto has an atmosphere, but it probably freezes out as it moves out in its elliptical orbit.

At least, that's what I recall reading somewhere.

I know that it has an atmosphere part of the time but i didn't think that that really would be enough for lightning, or that it really existed long enough to be a real atmosphere.

Mr. Milton Banana
2004-Apr-18, 04:24 PM
As a guess I would say we can rule out mercury and pluto no atmospheres and all.

Pluto has an atmosphere, but it probably freezes out as it moves out in its elliptical orbit.

At least, that's what I recall reading somewhere.

I know that it has an atmosphere part of the time but i didn't think that that really would be enough for lightning, or that it really existed long enough to be a real atmosphere.

Well, whatever atmosphere that exists is tenuous at best. And given that the average temparture on Pluto is only 50 degrees above absolute zero at its farthest point from the Sun, the only "weather" that would occur on Pluto would be its atmosphere freezing back onto its surface in the form of methane snow.

:o