Ball lightning appears at the impact point of a lightning strike, and its emission spectrum is recorded for the first time by researchers in China (Photo: Physics)
An analysis of the spectrum of the ball lightning with the various emission lines labeled as to their sources (Image: Olli Niemitalo)
A scientific team in China fortuitously recorded the first optical spectrum of an example of ball lightning. The ball lightning, which was accompanied by a cloud to ground lightning strike, appears to have consisted at least partially of vaporized soil from the location of the strike. While ball lightning may result from a variety of sources, this observation provides considerable evidence that the vaporized silicon explanation is valid, although possibly not unique.
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