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Lightning comes from space

Skynet
Posts: 674
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3/22/2016 3:32:47 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
Lightning comes from clouds, and clouds form from droplets of condensation on dust particles in the atmosphere, right? Maybe. But a bigger culprit is most likely high energy particles from space. As the high energy particle collides with air molecules, it ionizes them, which means they are charged. This charge strongly attracts vaporized water molecules because water has a + and - side (being shaped like Mickey Mouse's head) and the air molecule has just picked up a charge from a photon or subatomic particle moving at light speed (radioactive bombardment). Of course, condensation of water into droplets will only occur at temperatures just above, at, or below the dew point, so radiation and humid air will not always produce clouds. But if you take the column of air from the top of your head up to outer space, you will encounter great variances in pressure, temperature, and humidity. At some point in that column miles high, there will be a point or points where the air is close enough to the dew point that cosmic rays can tip the scales enough to create water droplets. This is why clouds form at many levels. When a trail of water droplets form in the wake of a cosmic ray, they absorb and bend light that has a small effect on temperatures below it. This may have a runaway effect, leading to lower temperatures and more droplet formation in that area. A cloud is seeded. If you want scientific evidence ionizing radiation can form clouds, look no further than lowly cloud chamber experiment in the video.

https://www.youtube.com...

Where lightning may come from is the excess energy imparted to the air molecule that was not neutralized by the condensing water molecules that attached seeking equilibrium. While water is great at absorbing and dissipating all sorts of things, maybe electrical charge isn't one of them while the particle is separated from ground by a few miles of dryer air. When so many trillions of slightly charged (by atomic power, mind you) water droplets congregate in one mass that may be measured in cubic miles, it seems plausible the combined charge imbalance between it and ground could be great enough to arc. So we have lightning. None of that "water molecules bumping around making static" nonsense. How could water build up static on its way up? It would be equal to ground unless acted on by a source of electric potential not the same as ground.

It seems way more plausible than the boiler plate "water molecules bumping around" hypothesis.

Tell me what you think.
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.
chui
Posts: 507
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3/23/2016 12:42:44 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/22/2016 3:32:47 AM, Skynet wrote:
Lightning comes from clouds, and clouds form from droplets of condensation on dust particles in the atmosphere, right? Maybe. But a bigger culprit is most likely high energy particles from space. As the high energy particle collides with air molecules, it ionizes them, which means they are charged. This charge strongly attracts vaporized water molecules because water has a + and - side (being shaped like Mickey Mouse's head) and the air molecule has just picked up a charge from a photon or subatomic particle moving at light speed (radioactive bombardment). Of course, condensation of water into droplets will only occur at temperatures just above, at, or below the dew point, so radiation and humid air will not always produce clouds. But if you take the column of air from the top of your head up to outer space, you will encounter great variances in pressure, temperature, and humidity. At some point in that column miles high, there will be a point or points where the air is close enough to the dew point that cosmic rays can tip the scales enough to create water droplets. This is why clouds form at many levels. When a trail of water droplets form in the wake of a cosmic ray, they absorb and bend light that has a small effect on temperatures below it. This may have a runaway effect, leading to lower temperatures and more droplet formation in that area. A cloud is seeded. If you want scientific evidence ionizing radiation can form clouds, look no further than lowly cloud chamber experiment in the video.

https://www.youtube.com...

Where lightning may come from is the excess energy imparted to the air molecule that was not neutralized by the condensing water molecules that attached seeking equilibrium. While water is great at absorbing and dissipating all sorts of things, maybe electrical charge isn't one of them while the particle is separated from ground by a few miles of dryer air. When so many trillions of slightly charged (by atomic power, mind you) water droplets congregate in one mass that may be measured in cubic miles, it seems plausible the combined charge imbalance between it and ground could be great enough to arc. So we have lightning. None of that "water molecules bumping around making static" nonsense. How could water build up static on its way up? It would be equal to ground unless acted on by a source of electric potential not the same as ground.

It seems way more plausible than the boiler plate "water molecules bumping around" hypothesis.

Tell me what you think.

How long does it take for a lightning cloud to form?

How many charged particles will pass through in that time?

How many molecules can be ionised per high energy particle?

How many ions are in a lightning cloud?

I do not know the answer to these questions but I suspect that ionisation by radiation alone will not create enough ions needed to create the potential difference that a lighting cloud achieves.
Skynet
Posts: 674
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3/24/2016 2:48:58 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/23/2016 12:42:44 PM, chui wrote:
At 3/22/2016 3:32:47 AM, Skynet wrote:
Lightning comes from clouds, and clouds form from droplets of condensation on dust particles in the atmosphere, right? Maybe. But a bigger culprit is most likely high energy particles from space. As the high energy particle collides with air molecules, it ionizes them, which means they are charged. This charge strongly attracts vaporized water molecules because water has a + and - side (being shaped like Mickey Mouse's head) and the air molecule has just picked up a charge from a photon or subatomic particle moving at light speed (radioactive bombardment). Of course, condensation of water into droplets will only occur at temperatures just above, at, or below the dew point, so radiation and humid air will not always produce clouds. But if you take the column of air from the top of your head up to outer space, you will encounter great variances in pressure, temperature, and humidity. At some point in that column miles high, there will be a point or points where the air is close enough to the dew point that cosmic rays can tip the scales enough to create water droplets. This is why clouds form at many levels. When a trail of water droplets form in the wake of a cosmic ray, they absorb and bend light that has a small effect on temperatures below it. This may have a runaway effect, leading to lower temperatures and more droplet formation in that area. A cloud is seeded. If you want scientific evidence ionizing radiation can form clouds, look no further than lowly cloud chamber experiment in the video.

https://www.youtube.com...

Where lightning may come from is the excess energy imparted to the air molecule that was not neutralized by the condensing water molecules that attached seeking equilibrium. While water is great at absorbing and dissipating all sorts of things, maybe electrical charge isn't one of them while the particle is separated from ground by a few miles of dryer air. When so many trillions of slightly charged (by atomic power, mind you) water droplets congregate in one mass that may be measured in cubic miles, it seems plausible the combined charge imbalance between it and ground could be great enough to arc. So we have lightning. None of that "water molecules bumping around making static" nonsense. How could water build up static on its way up? It would be equal to ground unless acted on by a source of electric potential not the same as ground.

It seems way more plausible than the boiler plate "water molecules bumping around" hypothesis.

Tell me what you think.

How long does it take for a lightning cloud to form?

That would depend on a number of conditions, which are many and varied. Establishing the minimum would be a good place to start.


How many charged particles will pass through in that time?

Measuring radiation and type passing through a given area at a given altitude would be fairly easy with Geiger Counters or similar devices spread out on a mountain at cloud level.


How many molecules can be ionised per high energy particle?

Quite a few. A single alpha or beta or gamma ray traveling at near light speed has a lot of energy and judging from the length and width of the visible vapor trail per single particle, the effect is profound considering the size of the object.


How many ions are in a lightning cloud?

That could be calculated by observing the intensity and distance of the bolt, and determining the resistance of the atmosphere through which it passed, the size of the cloud, and the type of ions present.


I do not know the answer to these questions but I suspect that ionisation by radiation alone will not create enough ions needed to create the potential difference that a lighting cloud achieves.

Those are really good questions, and very important if my hypothesis were to have any legs, and I don't have technical answers either yet. Tell you what I'll do: I am planning on talking to a relative of mine who works in the physics department at a local college. He's helped me out with complicated physics and math before, maybe he can figure out the numbers. I am certain clouds form in part as a result of radiation, as that has been duplicated in labs, and there is a super strong correlation between sunspot prevalence and cloud cover by year. The following article can be traced to more research, and if even if you don't buy the global warming skepticism bit, please note the correlation in cloud cover to solar activity (which increases the sun's magnetic field and shields us from more cosmic rays).

http://oneminuteastronomer.com...

The big question, as you point out is, is there enough residual energy left from the rays to produce the lightning? I think it would be more fascinating if it did not account for all of it, because then it would be a complete mystery.
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.