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View Full Version : Questions about "sympathetic lightning."



Buttercup
2015-Aug-19, 09:32 PM
Is there such a phenomena?

If so, what's thought (or believed) to be its cause?

Ken G
2015-Aug-19, 09:53 PM
Not much seems to be known about it, I'd reserve judgement for now. There's just not enough known about the mechanism that determines where the next strike will be...

Buttercup
2015-Aug-19, 09:56 PM
Not much seems to be known about it, I'd reserve judgement for now. There's just not enough known about the mechanism that determines where the next strike will be...

I'll fess up: I saw this mentioned on "NASA Files" a few months ago. UFO buff stated his belief that "sympathetic lightning" is a form of intelligent communication (there was "nothing else" on other channels that I cared to watch; re-runs and etc).

I'm inclined NOT to believe that.

However: There were video clips of what seems to be lightning flashes "mimicking" others.

So thought I'd ask. :)

Jeff Root
2015-Aug-19, 10:13 PM
I'm wildly guessing that 'lightning flashes "mimicking" others'
refers to parallel lightning strokes on the order of a second
apart. Is that correct? If so, my equally wild guess would be
that those are lighting strokes following the same path through
the air, but the path has moved because the air is moving.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Buttercup
2015-Aug-19, 10:50 PM
I'm wildly guessing that 'lightning flashes "mimicking" others'
refers to parallel lightning strokes on the order of a second
apart. Is that correct? If so, my equally wild guess would be
that those are lighting strokes following the same path through
the air, but the path has moved because the air is moving.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Yes, that's what it looked like.

John Mendenhall
2015-Aug-19, 11:01 PM
From thw Wiki article Lightning:

"Re-strike[edit]
High-speed videos (examined frame-by-frame) show that most negative CG lightning flashes are made up of 3 or 4 individual strokes, though there may be as many as 30.[28]
Each re-strike is separated by a relatively large amount of time, typically 40 to 50 milliseconds, as other charged regions in the cloud are discharged in subsequent strokes. Re-strikes often cause a noticeable "strobe light" effect.[29]
Each successive stroke is preceded by intermediate dart leader strokes that have a faster rise time but lower amplitude than the initial return stroke. Each subsequent stroke usually re-uses the discharge channel taken by the previous one, but the channel may be offset from its previous position as wind displaces the hot channel."

NEOWatcher
2015-Aug-20, 01:42 AM
I'll fess up: I saw this mentioned on "NASA Files" a few months ago. UFO buff stated his belief that "sympathetic lightning" is a form of intelligent communication (there was "nothing else" on other channels that I cared to watch; re-runs and etc).
I found this article that discusses it (http://news.sciencemag.org/2005/12/lightning-has-long-distance-conversation).


I'm inclined NOT to believe that.
Yep; it's the old transmutation of causal relationship -> connected process -> communication -> intelligence.


However: There were video clips of what seems to be lightning flashes "mimicking" others.
Probably for the lack of a good video from space that shows the phenomenon.

Ken G
2015-Aug-20, 01:58 AM
I'm wildly guessing that 'lightning flashes "mimicking" others'
refers to parallel lightning strokes on the order of a second
apart. Is that correct? If so, my equally wild guess would be
that those are lighting strokes following the same path through
the air, but the path has moved because the air is moving.
No, the strikes are separated by as much as 100 miles. The only question is whether these strikes are coincidentally, or causally, related. It's probably a tricky issue in statistics to be able to tell those apart, unless some kind of mechanism can be understood that would explain it.

JohnD
2015-Aug-20, 02:38 PM
Buttercup,
If you are going to raise such a subject, please tell us where you found it!
When asked you said you read it in "NASA Files" and Neowatcher found another reference.
But please do some of the work for us!

The News Science article claimed that thunderstorms some distance apart shot lightning in a coordinated way, by using "network theory".
The study was stimulated by astronauts observation from orbit of such apparent coordination.
But the paradoeliac tendencies of human observation have a bias towards seeing "significant" patterns, in disease clumping as well as Madonnas in the toast.
However, we know so little about lightning, let alone sprites or ball lightning.

John