Lightning

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Re: Recovered: Positive Lightning

Unread postby bboyer » Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:21 am

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:56 pm Post subject: Reply with quote
OP "redeye"

If the upper atmosphere (just above the clouds) voltage can be measured, the voltage should show spiked increases (the neg lightning) with sharp drops... the positive lightning discharge.


The upper atmosphere lightning phenomena release infrasound pulses which can be tracked and measured. The infrasound pulse recorded when Columbia was lost was said to be equivalent to that recorded in large earthquake events. It also seems that each sprite above the clouds is paired with a positive lightning discharge below the clouds. It seems to me that sprites could be delivering the energy that then breaks the insulating layer to discharge to ground in a positive lightning strike. Sorry if I'm repeating what has already been stated.

SUN(+) -> ( + Earth Layer 1 - ) -> ( + Clouds Layer -) -> ( + Earth Surface - ) -> ( + Earth Insulation Layer - ) -> ( + Center - ) -> (- Negative discharge path)



This appeals to me too. Very intuitive and simple enough for me to understand... 8-) !

http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2006/ ... lumbia.htm

http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2006/ ... umbia2.htm

http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2006/ ... umbia3.htm

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Re: Recovered: Positive Lightning

Unread postby bboyer » Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:23 am

- 30 -
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Re: Recovered: Positive Lightning

Unread postby webolife » Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:04 pm

IMHO, as I've read through all these posts, the most cogent thing to me was the term bipolar lightning and JL's comment that the electric field goes both ways... but I say the field doesn't actually "go" anywhere. It acts. Lightning is a discharge across space but not necessarily having symmetrical geometry. A problem with some of these explanations above is that the earth is pictured as a flat object, juxtaposed with equally flat atmospheric layers. The overarching field is centropic, ie directed earthward, so field properties dictate a change in "magnitude" as vector density increases toward the center. This increase in vector density manifests itself as virtual mass/charge at geometrically determined positions in the field. The accumulation of charge at these positions gives rise to the QE fields referenced above. As I see it, a "stroke" [ie "path" of lightning is an instantaneous effect of force acting across distance. I have yet to see actual nano time footage of a lightning stroke "moving" in any particular direction. Differential heating of the air due to accumulated charge at one end of the path or the other may account for the appearance of motion [eg. upward or downward] in any event. Anyone have actual footage of a single lightning stroke taking any amount of time to form? I've seen quite a bit of footage of multiple stroke lightning, and wondered from time to time myself whether the polarity of the strokes switched in consecutive strokes... I could explain it either way, I think.
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Re: Recovered: Positive Lightning

Unread postby redeye » Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:37 am

Anyone have actual footage of a single lightning stroke taking any amount of time to form? I've seen quite a bit of footage of multiple stroke lightning, and wondered from time to time myself whether the polarity of the strokes switched in consecutive strokes... I could explain it either way, I think.


I've seen footage of upper atmosphere lightning phenomena and sprites, for example, do seem to travel upwards from the top of thunder clouds.

Sprites
Main article: Upper-atmospheric lightning#Sprites
Sprites are now well-documented electrical discharges that occur high above some types of thunderstorms. They appear as luminous reddish-orange or greenish-blue, plasma-like flashes, last longer than normal lower stratospheric discharges (typically around 17 milliseconds), and are triggered by the discharges of positive lightning between the thundercloud and the ground.[31] Sprites often occur in clusters of two or more, and typically span the distance from 50 miles (80 km) to 90 miles (145 km) above the earth, with what appear to be tendrils hanging below, and branches reaching above. A 2007 paper reports that the apparent tendrils and branches of sprites are actually formed by bright streamer heads of less than 140 m diameter moving up or down at 1 to 10 percent of the speed of light.[44] The abstract is publicly accessible.[45][46][47]
Sprites may be horizontally displaced by up to 30 miles (48 km) from the location of the underlying lightning strike, with a time delay following the lightning that is typically a few milliseconds, but on rare occasions may be up to 100 milliseconds. Sprites are sometimes, but not always, preceded by a sprite halo, a broad, pancake-like region of transient optical emission centered at an altitude of about 47 miles (76 km) above lightning.[48] Sprite halos are produced by weak ionization from transient electric fields of the same type that causes sprites, but which are insufficiently intense to exceed the threshold needed for sprites. Sprites were first photographed on July 6, 1989 by scientists from the University of Minnesota. Several years after their discovery they were named after the mischievous sprite (air spirit) Puck in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream.

Recent research carried out at the University of Houston in 2002 indicates that some normal (negative) lightning discharges produce a sprite halo, the precursor of a sprite, and that every lightning bolt between cloud and ground attempts to produce a sprite or a sprite halo.[citation needed] Research in 2004 by scientists from Tohoku University found that very low frequency emissions occur at the same time as the sprite, indicating that a discharge within the cloud may generate the sprites.[45]


[edit] Blue jets
Blue jets differ from sprites in that they project from the top of the cumulonimbus above a thunderstorm, typically in a narrow cone, to the lowest levels of the ionosphere 25 miles (40 km) to 30 miles (48 km) above the earth.[citation needed] They are also brighter than sprites and, as implied by their name, are blue in color. They were first recorded on October 21, 1989, on a video taken from the space shuttle as it passed over Australia, and subsequently extensively documented in 1994 during aircraft research flights by the University of Alaska.[49][50][47]

On September 14, 2001, scientists at the Arecibo Observatory photographed a huge jet double the height of those previously observed, reaching around 50 miles (80 km) into the atmosphere. The jet was located above a thunderstorm over the ocean, and lasted under a second. Lightning was initially observed traveling up at around 50,000 m/s in a similar way to a typical blue jet, but then divided in two and sped at 250,000 m/s to the ionosphere, where they spread out in a bright burst of light.[51] On July 22, 2002, five gigantic jets between 60 and 70 km (35 to 45 miles) in length were observed over the South China Sea from Taiwan, reported in Nature.[49] The jets lasted under a second, with shapes likened by the researchers to giant trees and carrots.[citation needed]

In 2001, the Arecibo scientists modeled the blue-jet phenomenon to better understand how it works. It is like an electron avalanche that can flood up toward the ionosphere or slide earthward, depending on the electric field direction. Intense hail may trigger the avalanche. The field accelerates the electrons and slams them into air molecules. The molecules break down into ions and free electrons and emit light. The newly generated electrons also accelerate.[50]


[edit] Elves
Elves often appear as a dim, flattened, expanding glow around 250 miles (402 km) in diameter that lasts for, typically, just one millisecond.[52] They occur in the ionosphere 60 miles (97 km) above the ground over thunderstorms. Their color was a puzzle for some time, but is now believed to be a red hue. Elves were first recorded on another shuttle mission, this time recorded off French Guiana on October 7, 1990. Elves is a frivolous acronym for Emissions of Light and Very Low Frequency Perturbations From Electromagnetic Pulse Sources. This refers to the process by which the light is generated; the excitation of nitrogen molecules due to electron collisions (the electrons possibly having been energized by the electromagnetic pulse caused by a discharge from the Ionosphere).[47]


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/3214/02-vari-flash.html

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Re: Recovered: Positive Lightning

Unread postby redeye » Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:02 am

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Re: Recovered: Positive Lightning

Unread postby webolife » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:22 pm

Not slow enough.
I wonder if sprites might appear to "rise" up from thunderclouds due to effects similar to a Jacob's ladder?
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Re: Recovered: Of Lightning, Plasma Torus(es), & the Sun

Unread postby JJ78 » Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:18 am

Just a question that came to my mind: Could a globular lightning be a miniature sun?
If so,in contrast to the sun, the globular lightning dies out quickly due to lack of continuous charge input (current). Yet the (potential) self-sustaining process that produces both a sun and a globular lightning could be the same, not?

Just some ideas...

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Re: Recovered: Of Lightning, Plasma Torus(es), & the Sun

Unread postby davesmith_au » Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:02 am

JJ78 wrote:Just a question that came to my mind: Could a globular lightning be a miniature sun?
If so,in contrast to the sun, the globular lightning dies out quickly due to lack of continuous charge input (current). Yet the (potential) self-sustaining process that produces both a sun and a globular lightning could be the same, not?

Just some ideas...

JJ78


hammer-animation.gif
hammer-animation.gif (12.96 KiB) Viewed 13035 times
:mrgreen:

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Inner Magnetosphere .ppt

Unread postby StefanR » Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:11 am

Very nice powerpoint-presentation concerning the inner magnetosphere.


The Inner Magnetosphere
# There are 3 main plasma populations in the inner magnetosphere

* Plasmasphere: contains the mass
* Ring current: contains the energy
* Radiation belt: contains the dangerous particles

Basic Definition: Plasmasphere

* Cold: Less than 1 eV, maybe up to 10 eV
* Dense: 100s-1000s cm-3, lower out near geos.
* Ionospheric: source is the subauroral ionosphere
* Mostly Protons: oft-quoted composition, 77% H+, 20% He+, and 3% O+
* E-field dominated: spatial extent governed by magnetospheric electric field time history
* Two major losses: the drainage plume or the ionosphere
o Increased convection can strip off the outer plasmasphere
o On the nightside, ions fall back into the atmosphere
* Importance: dominates the mass density of the inner magnetosphere

Basic Definition: Ring Current

* Hot: 1-400 keV
* Tenuous: quiet, 1 cm-3; active, 10s cm-3
* Plasma sheet: source is near-Earth magnetotail, wherever that comes from
* Mostly Protons: During big storms, O+ can dominate
* Complicated Drift: E-field, B-field, Gradient-curvature terms
* Two major losses: Flow through or charge exchange
o They drift out of the inner magnetosphere
o They collide with the extended upper atmosphere of Earth
* Important: Dominates the energy density of the inner magnetosphere

Basic Definition: Radiation Belts

* Extremely hot: 100s of keV to MeV
* Extremely tenuous: <<1 cm-3 all the time
* Plasma sheet/heliosphere: source is either
o Energetic particles from the near-Earth magnetotail
o Locally accelerated ring current particles
o Captured SEPs or cosmic rays (or GCR byproducts)
* Mostly electrons: H+ is significant in the inner belt
* B-field dominated: Topology governs trajectories
* Lost by wave interactions: Eventually scattered out of their stably trapped orbits into the atmosphere
* Important: Dominates the reasons for spacecraft anomalies, damage, and failures

Inner Magnetosphere Summary

* All three particle populations are...
o coupled together
o controlled by the electric and magnetic field
o influenced by external source/driver terms
o important for understanding space weather
o modified during magnetic storms

General structure of ring current (1)

Ring current:

- toroidal shaped electric current
- flowing westward around the Earth
- with variable density
* at geocentric distances between
2 and 9 Re.

Quiet time ring current:
of ~1-4 nA/m2
Storm time ring current:
of ~7 nA/m2

General structure of ring current (2)

* Geomagnetically trapped charged particles gyrate around the ambient field as a result
of Lorentz force
* Also subject to drift motions due to the gradient and curvature of magnetic field.
* Total effect is a collective azimuthal drift:
Electrons move eastward,
Most ions move westward.
Net charge transport constitutes the ring current



http://www.ava.fmi.fi/~nataly/ringcurrent.ppt
It is about 9 MB, so it is large, but even if you have dial-up it is worth the trouble.
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Re: Recovered: Of Lightning, Plasma Torus(es), & the Sun

Unread postby JJ78 » Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:39 am

davesmith_au wrote:
JJ78 wrote:Just a question that came to my mind: Could a globular lightning be a miniature sun?
If so,in contrast to the sun, the globular lightning dies out quickly due to lack of continuous charge input (current). Yet the (potential) self-sustaining process that produces both a sun and a globular lightning could be the same, not?

Just some ideas...

JJ78


hammer-animation.gif
:mrgreen:

Cheers, Dave Smith.


Yes? Does that mean you like the idea or dismiss it ... as waffle?

Cheers,

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Re: Recovered: Of Lightning, Plasma Torus(es), & the Sun

Unread postby JJ78 » Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:45 am

Well actually, now that I think of it, I should perhaps have posed the question the other way around: could a sun be a huge globular lightning?

Seriously. The reason for asking this question is; how does a sun 'start'? If there was a globular lightning in front of you and you constantly fired an electron (or proton) beam at it - would it be sustained or would it even grow? i.e. Become a 'real' sun?

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Re: Recovered: Of Lightning, Plasma Torus(es), & the Sun

Unread postby davesmith_au » Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:06 am

JJ78 wrote:Yes? Does that mean you like the idea or dismiss it ... as waffle?

Cheers,

JJ78


It means you hit the nail fair and square on the head. Put in its most basic form, that's exactly what's going on. Well, as far as I can tell anyhow, if by globular lightning you mean "ball lightning".

Lightning is plasma. Ball lightning is plasma. The sun is plasma. The difference? Lightning and ball lightning are transient, as they're not being fed a constant current. The sun is being fed a constant current, so it keeps on keeping on.

Cheers, Dave Smith.
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Re: Recovered: Of Lightning, Plasma Torus(es), & the Sun

Unread postby StefanR » Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:04 am

Just was trouncing around the Finnish Meteorological Institute ( http://www.ava.fmi.fi/ ), and stumbled into an idea about ball-lightning:

Magnetically dominated plasma models of ball
lightning
Pekka Janhunen
Finnish Meteorological Institute, Geophysics Department
21.12. 1989
Recently, ball lightning models based on MHD force balance equation have been proposed. An upper bound
for the magnetic energy for these models is presented. The possibility of weakly ionized plasma models is
considered with estimates on lifetime and energy concent. The lifetime is found to be too short, if the
electron-neutral and ion-neutral effective collision frequencies behaver in the usual way. The possibilities to
get around these restrictions are briefly analyzed.
CONCLUSION
We have presented an upper energy limit for MHD ball lightning models. We have
also introduced the "cold" plasma model for ball lightning and analyzed the equations in
certain special cases. It has been found that the equation has solutions that behave
asymptotically in the right way. In principle, one can construct "cold" ball lightning models
with arbitrarily high energy content. The stability of "cold" models remains to be studied.
http://www.ava.fmi.fi/~pjanhune/papers/BallLightning.pdf

And a small MHD-pdf, for those with an interest in that.
http://www.space.fmi.fi/graduateschool/kiljavalect.pdf

Here a sub-url for Finnish space research
http://www.fmi.fi/research_space/space.html
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Re: Recovered: Of Lightning, Plasma Torus(es), & the Sun

Unread postby JJ78 » Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:36 pm

davesmith_au wrote:
JJ78 wrote:Yes? Does that mean you like the idea or dismiss it ... as waffle?

Cheers,

JJ78


It means you hit the nail fair and square on the head. Put in its most basic form, that's exactly what's going on. Well, as far as I can tell anyhow, if by globular lightning you mean "ball lightning".

Lightning is plasma. Ball lightning is plasma. The sun is plasma. The difference? Lightning and ball lightning are transient, as they're not being fed a constant current. The sun is being fed a constant current, so it keeps on keeping on.

Cheers, Dave Smith.



Ok, thanks Dave!
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Re: Recovered: Of Lightning, Plasma Torus(es), & the Sun

Unread postby JJ78 » Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:50 pm

So... are there any theories/practical ideas on how to produce a ball lightning in a lab?

It seems to me by looking at the model of the sun - as proposed in the book "Electric Sky p.112 - that it (= plasma sphere) is produced by two currents meeting each other head-on. In the case of a ball lightning, would this then mean that they are the result of plasma discharges (acting as currents) meeting in one point?

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