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mythrealwriter
2005-Mar-27, 11:05 PM
Otherwise known as lighting balls, fairy balls or the aliens from outer space. I was telling my boyfriend about my experiance with these things earlier and he said to post it here.
About four years ago I was living in Montana and had gone hiking with some kids I was sitting for when a thunder storm rolled along and I turned the kids around and started them back down the Mountain. Montanas thunderstorms are horrendous and I had no wish to get soaked or hit by lightning. While we were hurrying back down the oldest kid kept looking behind him and I asked him what he was watching, he told me that he was watching the fairy so I looked behind me to see what it actually was. A ball of Lightnig about the size of a softball was floating along about ten feet behind us. We stayed about ten feet from it and after a few minutes it disappated. Later on that day I was indoors with the windows open and another ball of lighting about the size of a tennis ball came bouncing into the house where it started bouncingoff any metal object. The baby was laying next to a metal tray that I used to serve the kids their dinner on and I didn't want her getting fried so I went to pick her up. Before I had even touched her though the Ball of lightning came straight at the tray but hit me instead. Now I've always heard getting hit by lighting hurts like heck but from what I've felt Ball lightning feels like heavy duty Static Electricity a good sharp jolt and your hair stands on end but nothing like getting hit with real lightning.

My boyfriend says that people are still studying Ball Lightning in hopes of figuring out what it is. Hope this helps the Acedemic community.

mopc
2005-Mar-28, 01:02 AM
Man! I had never heard of such a ´close encounter´ with this ball lightning thing! Usually people see it from far away; you gotta get this thing researched. I´ve opened up a thread about weird phenomena, yours is maybe the weirdest I´ve heard of here!

http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=19475&

frogesque
2005-Mar-28, 01:05 AM
Thanks for your story. Glad to have another real eye witness on board. I did start a thread about it on here in ATM (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=395240&highlight=ball+lightning&si d=3991b8aea835e8f0c55be83d6973482e#395240) Concensus is it's a real enough phenomena but we don't know why a ball should form and hover. To experience two in one day must be extremely rare.

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-28, 02:01 AM
I think that ball lightning is made of a kind of plasma.

Crazieman
2005-Mar-28, 02:13 AM
Most plasmas rise, however

Ilya
2005-Mar-28, 02:34 AM
My previous post on this matter (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=389570&highlight=ball+lightning+re combine&#389570)

W.F. Tomba
2005-Mar-28, 05:24 AM
So, in the slim chance that I encounter ball lightning, any ideas on how to capture it for further study? Glass jar, perhaps?

Van Rijn
2005-Mar-28, 06:02 AM
So, in the slim chance that I encounter ball lightning, any ideas on how to capture it for further study? Glass jar, perhaps?

Not possible. It doesn't last that long. You might try to take a picture, but if it is an electronic camera be careful that the ball lightning doesn't touch it.

Madcat
2005-Mar-28, 09:01 PM
Of course, if you manage capture it in a jar, make sure to give it plenty of airholes. We don't want it to suffocate.


That would be very sad. :cry:

01101001
2005-Mar-28, 10:52 PM
So, in the slim chance that I encounter ball lightning, any ideas on how to capture it for further study? Glass jar, perhaps?
Yes, but only use a Ball collection jar (http://www.homecanning.com/usa/ALProducts.asp?CAT=498&P=2629).
http://www.homecanning.com/usa/images/products/largeimage2629.jpg (http://www.homecanning.com/usa/ALProducts.asp?CAT=498&P=2629)

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-28, 10:57 PM
I think that you'll need a powerful electro/magnetic field if you are to capture and contain ball lightning.

dvb
2005-Mar-28, 11:39 PM
Hmm, another interesting story here.


Ball lightning is interesting stuff. It's been seen to enter a house, drift around as if contemplating the scenery, then exiting out a wall, leaving everything untouched. It's also been known to blast holes in roofs, blow out every electrical outlet in the place and punch it's way out 2 seconds after quietly waltzing in. One report said the ball lightning came into the room, gently lifted up papers on a desk as if reading, wandered over to the man who was sitting there, stunned, seemed to look him up and down, then drifted up the chimney where it blasted the whole thing to bricks and soot, which rained on the houses next door.

http://www.anomalies-unlimited.com/Science/Ball%20Lightning.html

W.F. Tomba
2005-Mar-29, 03:43 AM
Hmm, another interesting story here.


Ball lightning is interesting stuff. It's been seen to enter a house, drift around as if contemplating the scenery, then exiting out a wall, leaving everything untouched. It's also been known to blast holes in roofs, blow out every electrical outlet in the place and punch it's way out 2 seconds after quietly waltzing in. One report said the ball lightning came into the room, gently lifted up papers on a desk as if reading, wandered over to the man who was sitting there, stunned, seemed to look him up and down, then drifted up the chimney where it blasted the whole thing to bricks and soot, which rained on the houses next door.

http://www.anomalies-unlimited.com/Science/Ball%20Lightning.html
Such a wide range of effects suggests some confusion between the effects of ball lightning and real lightning. Could ball lightning be associated with the streamers that rise up from objects on the ground before a lightning strike? That could mean that what happened to that guy's chimney was a real lightning strike preceded by ball lightning.

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-29, 04:00 AM
I heared, on tv,of a ball lightning passing down the isle of a plane and when someone touched it they got burned.

publiusr
2005-Mar-31, 10:53 PM
If this can be explained--we have a chance on learning a new way to store electricity.

Mark Stenhoff has a good book on the subject.

space cadet
2005-Mar-31, 11:52 PM
my great great grandma was killed by lighting. According to wittnesses, she was sitting by the fireplace one night and this ball of lightening came down the chimney and electrocuted her.

W.F. Tomba
2005-Apr-01, 12:39 AM
my great great grandma was killed by lighting. According to wittnesses, she was sitting by the fireplace one night and this ball of lightening came down the chimney and electrocuted her.
In an incident like that, I would question whether the witnesses were in a good position to distinguish between a "ball of lightning" and a bolt of lightning. Since she was near the place where the lightning emerged, they can't have seen it over a very long distance or for more than a very brief moment. A lightning bolt jumps around a bit in the air, and if you didn't get a good look at it, I could imagine it looking like a ball.

A'a
2005-Apr-01, 12:55 AM
my great great grandma was killed by lighting. According to wittnesses, she was sitting by the fireplace one night and this ball of lightening came down the chimney and electrocuted her.

I've noticed this very similar story being described by a couple of other people in this thread (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=18708&postdays=0&postorder=asc&sta rt=0&). No offense, but unless there's some weird connection with grandmothers, stoves, and ball lightning, might this be some kind of urban legend?

space cadet
2005-Apr-01, 12:59 AM
I wasn't there so I can't verify it. But us mormons have been pretty good at keeping family records and such, so I could probably look it up in my family history to see if it's true or not. But that's what happened according to my Grandma.

mopc
2005-Apr-01, 01:19 AM
Does anyone have a link to a good image gallery of ball lightnings?

Madcat
2005-Apr-01, 01:43 AM
Fire is a weak plasma, right? Maybe she was hit by a normal bolt of lighting, and the bolt generated a ball of plasma as it passed through the fire.

Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about well enough to say. :)

NoXion
2005-Apr-01, 02:38 AM
I think ball lightning is a practical joke devised by God to highlight the absurdity of the universe :D

dvb
2005-Apr-01, 02:52 AM
Does anyone have a link to a good image gallery of ball lightnings?

http://images.google.com/images?complete=1&hl=en&c2coff=1&safe=off&q=ball+l ightning

Probably not the greatest, but it's a start. :D

Crazieman
2005-Apr-01, 03:19 AM
Its probably a plasma of some sort, but the "pass through walls" property is difficult to buy.

I did see this program once, perhaps on discovery or one of the other learning channels before the "home decor" rage the last two years.

About lightning in general, but they touched on ball lightning, and demonstrated what it might be by generating their own lightning of sorts.

After the whole mess discharges, you have the sparks fly off. A pool of water caught some of the larger sparks. Which was odd, because plasmas should float, right? Well these tiny glowing balls of plasma just fall and float around on the water for a good 5 seconds before going out.

I'll never forget that. Ball lightning is to remain a mystery.

W.F. Tomba
2005-Apr-01, 03:27 AM
Would any photograph of ball lightning be distinguishable from a photographic defect?

Jpax2003
2005-Apr-01, 08:37 PM
Fire is a weak plasma, right? Maybe she was hit by a normal bolt of lighting, and the bolt generated a ball of plasma as it passed through the fire.

Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about well enough to say. :)A friend of mine always said fire was not plasma but combustion. I use to think that the earth, wind, fire and water elements may have been representative of real physics since they might represent the four states of matter. I also remember reading in popular electronics that someone used the plasma of a fire to act as a speaker of microphone or something similar.

Then there is the hypothesis that ball lightning is a hyper-sphere.