Video captures intense lightning striking a car
The flash may have consisted of a series of four strikes, or rapid electrical discharges from the cloud and ground, tweeted lightning scientist Chris Vagasky. The first sign of it appearing was a blinding light that caused the camera to overexpose the scene. The barrage first hit the rear right of her husband’s van, approximately several car lengths in front of the camera.
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A heartbeat later, Whalen can be heard reacting with a scream, followed by an important question: “Is he okay?”
Her husband and children were not harmed because the steel-framed vehicle acted like a “faraday cage”, in which the lightning current goes around the metal body and usually exits the tires to the bottom. floor. The strike will avoid people as long as everyone is inside the vehicle and not touching the exterior metal. This is also a reason why planes are often struck by lightning without major damage.
Along with the first flash, a bright orange sheath surrounds where it connects to the truck as sparks fly in all directions.
Within the blink of an eye, two more rapid flashes are seen, as is smoke rising from the impact location. Vagasky believes the smoke was caused by the first hit.
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“When lightning strikes, it sends thousands of amps of current and extreme heat through an object in microseconds, causing explosive expansion,” Vagasky said in a post.
The final flash – heralded by an air-ripping explosion – occurs as the viewer’s vehicle drives forward into the lightning’s path. Another burst of sparks is seen, along with an additional orange flame.
While the lightning appears relatively straight even at a short distance, the video shows a line with many small zigzags and loops – a channel of plasma. Eventually, the channel dissipates into pieces.
Plasma is the result of lightning, formed when air molecules are split into their atoms. At that time, the plasma can be as hot as 50,000 degrees, or about five times hotter than the sun.
“The lightning channel is more of a plasma, and that’s what we see right in front of the camera at the end of the video,” Vagasky said.