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Ball Lightning Caught On Video and Spectrograph

Unknown Lamer posted about 9 months ago | from the x-files dept.

Science 120

symbolset writes "Ball lightning has been reported for hundreds of years, and experimentally produced, but for the first time a natural will 'o wisp has been captured on video and amazingly, spectrograph, accidentally by researchers studying ordinary lightning."

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ball lightning here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021277)

first

Error in summary (4, Informative)

Carnildo (712617) | about 9 months ago | (#46021287)

I'd just like to note that a will o' the wisp [wikipedia.org] is not the same thing as ball lightning [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Error in summary (2, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 9 months ago | (#46021577)

The latter may be responsible for the stories of the former basing fantasy on bits of unexplained fact, as is often the case with ancient legends, e.g., the Christian's god was probably a volcano. [youtube.com]

What about a Foo Fighter [wikipedia.org] or Saint Elmo's Fire [wikipedia.org] ? One thing I find interesting is how many events can have a common cause. As is often the case in science, it's not a stretch to think such disparate things could someday be understood as a variation of "the same thing": A change in static electric charge.

Re:Error in summary (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 9 months ago | (#46022065)

What about a Foo Fighter [wikipedia.org]

The nonsense word "foo" emerged in popular culture during the early 1930s, first being used by cartoonist Bill Holman who peppered his Smokey Stover fireman cartoon strips with "foo" signs and puns.

Kool.

Not off subject a bit. :}

Re:Error in summary (2)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 9 months ago | (#46022521)

the Christian's god was probably a volcano.
I always thought it was a burning bush, aka an open oil spring somewhere in the desert.

Re:Error in summary (3)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 9 months ago | (#46022529)

It was also the Hebrew god, later adopted by Christianity, and further later by Islam...

Re:Error in summary (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 9 months ago | (#46023607)

And a great deal of trouble might have been prevented had the god in question had not granted the land between the Euphrates and the Red Sea to all 3 groups!

not the Christians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024499)

To be fair, the land was not granted to the Christians who were promised an entirely new universe.

Re:not the Christians (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 9 months ago | (#46025649)

To be fair, the land was not granted to the Christians who were promised an entirely new universe.

They certainly thought that they had a holy right to it, back when they decided to go and take it from the Muslims starting in 1095, spending the next 200 years trying to gain and maintain control of it.

Re:not the Christians (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46027109)

That's because they weren't paying attention when their leader told them to stay separate from the world's political affairs. Or more likely because they were greedy, power-hungry idiots using religion as a cover for their ambitions.

Re:not the Christians (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46027921)

To be fair, the land was not granted to the Christians who were promised an entirely new universe.

They certainly thought that they had a holy right to it, back when they decided to go and take it from the Muslims starting in 1095, spending the next 200 years trying to gain and maintain control of it.

They don't think, they believe. Big difference. Also, they believe a lot of stuff with no logical basis...

Re:Error in summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46027789)

You mean the one group with a lot of in-fighting?

Re:Error in summary (-1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 9 months ago | (#46023671)

I always thought it was a burning bush, aka an open oil spring somewhere in the desert.

It was a burning bush. He was smoking a whole bunch of the local kush, which can be hallucinogenic if you're a lightweight and you get enough.

Re:Error in summary (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46022159)

This actually was ball lightning if you bother reading the article. They just decided to use whatever file photo they could grab when they posted the article but the photo they chose has nothing to do with the actual ball lightning captured on video during a thunderstorm in china. The researchers were originally photographing normal lightning when ball lightning occurred near enough. The actual link to the actual article/video: http://physics.aps.org/article... [aps.org]

Re: Error in summary (0)

fizzer06 (1500649) | about 9 months ago | (#46022231)

What a gyp. I'm thoroughly disappointed.

Re: Error in summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46023475)

Could you maybe not make bigoted comments? I'm going to assume that you're very young, and didn't know what you were doing. Google "gyp."

Re: Error in summary (3, Insightful)

germansausage (682057) | about 9 months ago | (#46024031)

Interesting theory on the origin of the word gyp, but around here gyp no longer has any trace of that connotation, and is in no way associated with any racial or ethnic slur.

Re: Error in summary (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 9 months ago | (#46024847)

Wow, the social justice brigade is really stretching it lately, ain't they?

Re: Error in summary (1)

lgw (121541) | about 9 months ago | (#46027645)

One day they'll discover the origin of "that's very fair of you" and implode in self-shame. I do look forward to it.

Re: Error in summary (3, Interesting)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 9 months ago | (#46028763)

As a further note, avoid all uses of the words "hooligan", "uppity", "peanut gallery", "hip hip hooray", "vandal", "barbarian", "assassin", "spade", "maroon", or any other word, phrase, figure of speech, or expression that has ever been deemed offensive by anyone at any time.

Also, take care to avoid using the words "hysteria", "orchid", "seminar", "avocado", "mastodon", "manatee", "fundamental", or other words with similarly sexual etymologies around underage people.

Words come from places and take meanings and connotations that don't match their origins. Get over it.

Re:Error in summary (1)

halcyon1234 (834388) | about 9 months ago | (#46025371)

I'd just like to note that a will o' the wisp is not the same thing as ball lightning.

Of course not. Those are two entirely different cards. They aren't even the same color!

Re:Error in summary (1)

plopez (54068) | about 9 months ago | (#46026115)

I think it was meant to be metaphorical. That's the way I took it though. For some reason I seem to be more tuned into language and writing than most of the people I work with which is why "Needs to improve communications skills" rarelyshows up on my job reviews.

link to video? (2)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 9 months ago | (#46021299)

can anybody find a link to the actual video? I followed the link in the summary but got to a series of other pages about the video, but not the video itself.

Re:link to video? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021345)

It's available here: http://physics.aps.org/articles/v7/5

Not much to see though.

Re:link to video? (5, Interesting)

c0lo (1497653) | about 9 months ago | (#46021509)

It's available here: http://physics.aps.org/article... [aps.org]

Not much to see though.

From the link, with my emphasis:

That is what Ping Yuan and co-workers from Northwest Normal University in Lanzhou, China, now report. They had set up spectrometers on the remote Qinghai Plateau of northwest China to investigate ordinary lightning, which is frequent in this region. During one late-evening thunderstorm in July 2012, they saw ball lightning appear just after a lightning strike about 900 meters from their apparatus and were able to record a spectrum and high-speed video footage of the ball.

(groan) ... seems there are publications much slower than /. - this was supposed to be news one year and a half ago.

Re:link to video? (5, Insightful)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 9 months ago | (#46021683)

(groan) ... seems there are publications much slower than /. - this was supposed to be news one year and a half ago.

To be fair, ball lightning sightings and claims to have photographed it or caught it on video are quite frequent, with a very high rate of hoaxes or mistaking other phenomena for it. (Almost as bad as UFO sightings and "evidence.")

It wouldn't surprise me at all if a few extra months were added to the researchers' analysis and to the peer review just to substantiate that this is what it says it is, and all the analysis is correct. Ball lightning is just one of those things that so many people have claimed to see, and it seems odd that scientists have so much trouble catching evidence of natural occurrences... so when you finally think you've got it, you want to be sure.

Not saying it explains the whole delay, but maybe part of it.

Re:link to video? (2)

c0lo (1497653) | about 9 months ago | (#46021761)

Ball lightning is just one of those things that so many people have claimed to see, and it seems odd that scientists have so much trouble catching evidence of natural occurrences... so when you finally think you've got it, you want to be sure.

Also on the speculative path... I reckon one must be a Chinese scientist to get out on field trips and actually do something with a (2 actually) spectrograph...
Seems their "westernized" counterparts are busy fighting for grants (i.e. survival) and organizing sneaker nets to smuggle scientific journals [slashdot.org]

Re:link to video? (1)

lgw (121541) | about 9 months ago | (#46027729)

Sure, a Chinese scientists has so much less [wikipedia.org] to worry about when he publishes. (That's one damn chilling article about stuff still happening today, if you think through the implications.)

Re:link to video? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021943)

Actually I saw ball lightning across my living room several years ago and couldn't believe it at first. glowing orb drifting in the air, like a jumping jack firework going slowly. It was so surreal and paranormal-like that it shook me (and my ex up). We were really, really scared. We never talked about it outside of family because people like you (no offense) will never believe it until you see it for yourself. -- I never did drugs, smoke, or drink alcohol, no med/psych issues, etc. Was always a science skeptic on a lot of stuff. Now I am open to believe all sorts of stuff after that. Believe what you want.

Re:link to video? (4, Insightful)

jimshatt (1002452) | about 9 months ago | (#46022279)

So, just for my understanding, you were science-minded at first, and then you saw something that scientists are actually researching and now you're all into paranormal stuff? Why? Just because something that *you* can't explain, does not mean there is no explanation for it. That's what science is all about!

Re:link to video? (1)

nhat11 (1608159) | about 9 months ago | (#46023603)

Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations. Science can not explain everything and is limited because it is created by humans. science didn't create humans, humans created science

Re:link to video? (1)

jimshatt (1002452) | about 9 months ago | (#46023909)

Science can not explain everything and is limited because it is created by humans.

Religion is created by humans as well, but can *easily* 'explain' everything. I don't see how "created by humans" would be an inherently limiting factor.
BTW, I wasn't even saying that science can explain everything. I just think that one should not immediately resort to believing in the paranormal, just because there are things you can't immediately explain. That just means science isn't done yet.

Re:link to video? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 9 months ago | (#46022309)

Science never denied the existence of ball lightning as a phenomenon, at least as described in your case (as opposed to the more, shall we say, embellished versions). What was (and remains) very unclear is the exact mechanism for its formation.

Re:link to video? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#46022459)

Scientists are scheming lying wizards these days in the Fox agenda :(

Magnets? Can't explain that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024247)

I didn't realize that Fox News was a hotbed of Juggaloism.

Re:link to video? (1)

Maritz (1829006) | about 9 months ago | (#46022259)

To be fair, ball lightning sightings and claims to have photographed it or caught it on video are quite frequent, with a very high rate of hoaxes or mistaking other phenomena for it.

There appears to be no universally agreed definition of ball lightening. The reports/anecdotes vary greatly in the properties of the 'ball'. This is unfortunate because people who think they're talking about the same thing are talking about completely different things.

Re:link to video? (5, Funny)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#46022463)

There appears to be no universally agreed definition of ball lightening

A low sperm count?

Re:link to video? (1)

Maritz (1829006) | about 9 months ago | (#46022919)

heheh indeed

Re:link to video? (5, Informative)

SumDog (466607) | about 9 months ago | (#46021833)

It takes a long time to get stuff published. They had to take their results, form a paper, get people to analysis it and then it goes under peer review. For us to have all this information a little over a year out is actually quite good. Also, we know it's gone under review. It could still have bad information in it, but it's less likely.

Re:link to video? (4, Interesting)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 9 months ago | (#46021519)

Except that you can see it clearly start at high energy level on the spectrograph then drop in energy level to lower wavelengths of light closer to red like a mega-hot star quickly burning out. I thought that was fascinating and obvious proof that it's ball lightning.

Re:link to video? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46028013)

Or anything that starts off hot and cools off.

Re:link to video? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021361)

Yup:

        https://medium.com/looking-up/b594b6ffea37

Scroll to the bottom of the page....

Re:link to video? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021377)

What a shitty and unconvincing video.

Wouldn't be surprised to find this was yet another instance of Chinese scientific fraud.

Re:link to video? (1)

Rick in China (2934527) | about 9 months ago | (#46021421)

Here's a link to the video on a popular Chinese video sharing website: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_X... [youku.com] Looks pretty lame to me though. I expected a big nefarious blob, not what looks more like a fart lit on fire.

Re:link to video? (0)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 9 months ago | (#46021537)

That video is not helpful at all. Also the site is a blatant rip off of YouTube. I'm sure my computer just got owned.

Re:link to video? (3, Insightful)

Rick in China (2934527) | about 9 months ago | (#46021583)

Yes, it's a ripoff of youtube from 2006. It's also one of the largest (the largest perhaps?) video portals on the internet. It's sad that you're stuck in a little bubble of "everything from China is terrible", and that _is_ the video, even though it sucks. Your name is deceiving, "noh8rz", yet your comment reeks of nothing but hate -- someone asked for the video, this is the f'in video, from "the" video portal from the country this article's team is from, I'm being helpful - you're just being a douche bag.

Re:link to video? (-1, Flamebait)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 9 months ago | (#46021649)

Don't rag on my comment man. 2 truths and an assumption.
"That video is not helpful at all." Truth. Self evident to anyone who watches the video
"Also the site is a blatant rip off of YouTube." Truth. Not just the "internet video sharing" thing. I mean the site name, logo design, and other obvious stuff.
"I'm sure my computer just got owned." Probably true. Although to be fair it was probably owned already by NSA and the chinese govt too. But now it has more mundane malicious viruses.

I'm not blaming you for the crappy video. You're right that's the best they had, and I don't see how it qualifies as "video evidence". Call me a reality-oriented observer of the natural world and shared human experience, but I don't see a hill of beans here.

Re:link to video? (-1, Flamebait)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 9 months ago | (#46021679)

It's sad that you're stuck in a bubble of "I'm in China and everything here is awesome" and getting offended on China's behalf. Isn't that awesome, being a crusader? Speaking of nicknames, "Rick in China"? You really need to trumpet that everywhere you go to remind everyone? How much Chinese do you speak, anyway? Talk about douchebaggery...

Re:link to video? (0)

Rick in China (2934527) | about 9 months ago | (#46022031)

Not that any of this relates to the post nor the comments, however, enjoy your straw man and presumption filled retort. To be brief - obviously not MUCH is awesome, but that doesn't mean everything is shit; you can make the same trolling comment about anyone's nickname; more than a decade; and same to you - I suppose that's a matter of perspective.

Warning: No video or pictures (4, Informative)

PapayaSF (721268) | about 9 months ago | (#46021355)

Warning: This is another of those annoying website articles that describe a visually fascinating thing, but don't actually include any pictures or videos of said fascinating thing. Not even the the spectrograph, though that seems to be in the paper behind the paywall. The only picture is of some earlier lab-made ball lightning.

Re:Warning: No video or pictures (0, Offtopic)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 9 months ago | (#46021785)

Warning: This is another of those annoying website articles that describe a visually fascinating thing, but don't actually include any pictures or videos of said fascinating thing. Not even the the spectrograph, though that seems to be in the paper behind the paywall. The only picture is of some earlier lab-made ball lightning.

How the heck does someone stutter using a keyboard?

Re:Warning: No video or pictures (2)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 9 months ago | (#46022009)

How the heck does someone stutter using a keyboard?

Emacs

Re:Warning: No video or pictures (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46022303)

How the heck does someone stutter using a keyboard?

Emacs

vi is easier just type a number before i and it stutters for you,

Re:Warning: No video or pictures (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 9 months ago | (#46022451)

vi is easier just type a number before i and it stutters for you,

Possibly, but that would result in the entire sentence being repeated. VI mistakes usually have rather unique signatures :) :wq

Re:Warning: No video or pictures (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 9 months ago | (#46022539)

That is why I changed my vim bindings so I can always end with. :qed

Re:Warning: No video or pictures (3, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 9 months ago | (#46022577)

It's in the first-linked article, directly underneath the picture.

Re:Warning: No video or pictures (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | about 9 months ago | (#46028665)

don't actually include any pictures or videos

Except for the picture...and video that I looked at when I visited.

Video (4, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#46021375)

Ball lightning video [dailymail.co.uk]

(Don't complain that it is the Daily Mail, it worked better than the Puffington Hosts.)

Re:Video (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024255)

Also on youtube [youtube.com] . It's the same event, but I don't know if it's the same footage. It's quite underwhelming.

Obligatory Tesla reference (0)

spiritplumber (1944222) | about 9 months ago | (#46021459)

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/t... [theoatmeal.com] I have nothing particularly smart to add, other than, if you want to make free-floating plasma balls, you can do so by lighting a match, blowing on it, and dropping it in the microwave while the carbonized part is still smoldering. Try it. It is safe (although running the microwave for more than half a minute isn't recommended).

Congrats guys! (0)

Mashiki (184564) | about 9 months ago | (#46021469)

You've caught up to Nikola Tesla...

Saw one as a kid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021477)

In the woods when I was at summer camp. Sometimes I wonder if ball lightning isn't simply an unlucky bird that got turned into instant plasma.

Re:Saw one as a kid (2)

scotts13 (1371443) | about 9 months ago | (#46021629)

In the woods when I was at summer camp. Sometimes I wonder if ball lightning isn't simply an unlucky bird that got turned into instant plasma.

Maybe sometime, but I've been within five feet of a fair sized ball, and a vaporized bird would not be my first choice for an explanation. It melted the screen in my bedroom window.

Re:Saw one as a kid (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 9 months ago | (#46023707)

There's no need for a bird when you've got water vapor to work with.

Big Deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021575)

Yawn...old news. Anyone can make ball lightning using an upturned pyrex dish, graphite from a pencil poked in a piece of cork, then microwave.

Stories (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021591)

A grandmother of mine told a story about ball lighting that she saw in her kitchen. During a thunderstorm a bolt of lighting struck near her home and a bright hissing ball jumped out the phone, fell to the floor, moved a little ways across the floor leaving small scorch marks and vanished. This would have been the 1940's and the phone was probably a wall mounted rotary.

She was a sober and modest person with a sound mind throughout her life. I don't doubt the story.

Re:Stories (4, Interesting)

cusco (717999) | about 9 months ago | (#46021745)

It wasn't until the 1960s that scientists finally admitted that ball lightning actually existed. Since they couldn't explain how it could exist they declared it an 'old wives tale'.

My grandmother was terrified of lightning storms, and I used to sit with her during them growing up. She said that in the 1940s lightning hit the telephone pole outside and blew the telephone right off the wall, starting a fire in the wall she put out with a pan of water. Another time my dad, who would have been about 5 years old, and my grandfather were in the barn trying to calm the cattle. Looking out the window she saw a ball of lightning roll in one end of the barn and then out the other without lighting the mounds of straw and hay inside on fire. She could never abide thunderstorms after that.

Re:Stories (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 9 months ago | (#46023339)

It would be fairer to say that there wasn't firm evidence for anything like "ball lightning" until that point. And the stuff that there's evidence for is still a tiny subset of ball lightning's supposed properties, most of which are more likely caused by phosphenes.

Re:Stories (4, Interesting)

jbeaupre (752124) | about 9 months ago | (#46024653)

I remember reading stories like that as a kid. Never thought I'd see it. Then we moved to a neighborhood where it was common. Yes, common.

When there were dry thunderstorms, ball lightening would form above a tree down the street. One or two at a time, but dozens during a storm. About 30 to 60 cm in dia, they would drift down from the tree, changing colors until they popped.

My brother and I would watch it from behind a screen door during at least 3 different storms I can think of. Wild to think it was common enough to recognize the sound and say "The ball lightning is back, let's go watch!"

The great irony was we were living in family housing at a large research university. The never knew what they had happening on their own campus. I figured they wouldn't believe some kid.

Re:Stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46027631)

> scientists finally admitted that ball lightning actually existed

No, they have never done that. Since there's not a single picture of the phenomenon, it doesn't make scientific sense to believe that it exists. Even this article that lies and claims it exists with a picture of something that is not ball lightning. I guess scientific illiterates will think that there is finally a tiny bit of evidence that it exists, but in reality, it's just another lie.

The ball lightning people are just as bad as climate change deniers. They hate science so they make-up their own little fairy tale mixed with stupidity and religion.

Re:Stories (1)

cusco (717999) | about 9 months ago | (#46027893)

Does it hurt to be that stupid? If not, it should.

Re:Stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46028171)

Well, that was very insulting. Can you then explain why I seem so stupid to you? Is there something wrong about being a skeptic and wanting robust proof about a phenomenon?

Re:Stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46028215)

...What?

Re:Stories (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46022479)

I was video taping with a digital camera and I believe I actually have ball lighting on tape... I viewed it several times trying to see if it wasn't some glare from lighting [obviously it was dark when the storm rolled thru] I am trying to determine where I should send a copy of the video, with details with elapsed time when they appear and then disappear.

It tough to know how large they are but they had a multi color glow, I would like to have a University or NOVA to have a look to see these things were just from natural glare [at a distance] or if it is possible they are ball lighting, or some other event that occurs during thunder storms.

Re:Stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46025119)

You should obviously post it on /. as we are the most competent bunch to determine if this case was indeed ball lightning.

Re:Stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46028083)

It is pretty easy to contact people at a university, as most universities have openly listed contacts for faculty. Just keep things polite when asking a question, and don't take it personal if some don't respond (some faculty members are lazy with email, and don't even respond often to their colleagues, let alone random emails). Usually with a few tries you will find someone who is mildly interested or will take some time to look at it.

One heads up though, is that in my experience, many digital cameras (and even some film ones) do a horribly job of capturing color related to electrical arcs well. I've had problems with images from experiments and educational outreach demonstrations showing really weird colors because the cameras didn't do a good job of filtering UV or IR.

Re:Stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46023491)

Nah. She probably saw a volcano.

Re:Stories (1)

Drethon (1445051) | about 9 months ago | (#46023595)

When I was younger I was watching a lightning storm out the window. About 100 yards away I saw a ball of light above a tree and a moment later there was a flash of lightning so bright I lost my night vision for a few moments and there was instant thunder. I suspect it was a leader for the lightning or something like that rather than ball lightning, but who knows.

Driving me crazy (1)

fermion (181285) | about 9 months ago | (#46021593)

There was a speculative fiction TV show where ball lighting was a major plot on one episode. I think it was relatively short lived. Can't remember the name or find it using a standard search.

Re:Driving me crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021857)

I'm pretty sure it was "Probe."
-041E7B7

Re:Driving me crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021859)

Re:Driving me crazy (1)

execthis (537150) | about 9 months ago | (#46022633)

Otenki Oneesan [d-addicts.com] is the series you're thinking of.

Soon on eBay. (2)

ElectraFlarefire (698915) | about 9 months ago | (#46021631)

Now that they have been caught on video.. I wonder how long until they'll capture one fully..
And how long until you'll be able to buy knock off ones on eBay..

Not the first time by a long shot (1, Flamebait)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 9 months ago | (#46021691)

There are plenty of videos of ball lightning on Youtube [youtube.com] . There are some stupid fakes on that page, but plenty of real ones. Another Slashdot non-story with piss-poor links and a total lack of research.

Re:Not the first time by a long shot (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 9 months ago | (#46022263)

and [...] spectrograph

It's just another poorly worded summary.

Re:Not the first time by a long shot (2)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | about 9 months ago | (#46026909)

Yep. The ball lightning being caught on video isn't that interesting, it's the spectrograph. That tells us what it's made of due to the emission lines in the spectrum. From this we can conclude that at least one type of ball lightning is caused when soil is heated and becomes a plasma. Getting more spectra of ball lightning will tell us if there are other types formed in nature, since other types have been made in the lab.

Re:Not the first time by a long shot (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 9 months ago | (#46027179)

...all of which would have padded the summary out to a decent length and been highly informative!

Re:Not the first time by a long shot (3, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 9 months ago | (#46022315)

My understanding is that it's the first time when we have sufficient review to conclude that this is real and is actually of the phenomenon it purports to document.

aduket (1)

johnsnails (1715452) | about 9 months ago | (#46022049)

aduket...
The stuff of streetfighter?

For. Fuck's. Sake. (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 9 months ago | (#46022273)

Ball lightning caught on video

Wow! I sure would like to see that. Luckily this is the internet, where the magic of hypertext means information can be linked to quickly and easily.

Hmm? There's no link to the video in the summary, you say? Well that's not very good.

Hmm? There's not even a link to the video in the article? Slashtwats.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Re:For. Fuck's. Sake. (4, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 9 months ago | (#46022583)

It's embedded in the first article, on the right hand side, under the picture.

Re:For. Fuck's. Sake. (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 9 months ago | (#46022705)

Well, whoops :*

rainbow lightning? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46022441)

nyan nyan nyan

Ball Lightning and Will O' the Wisp (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46022457)

Are two VERY different things.

Will O' the Wisp is a B 0/1 Flying regenerating creature
Ball Lightning is an RRR 6/1 trample haste creature that has to be sacrificed at the end of turn.

Similar? really???

Cfi8st (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46022995)

same Worthless

So no transcranial magnetic stimulation or inner e (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46023035)

So no transcranial magnetic stimulation or inner eye effects then?

boring. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46023341)

That has to be the most boring pathic video of lightning that I've ever seen. They has to repeat it 3x just to get the length of the video to 30 seconds. AND why not show the actual cloud -> ground strike as well? Pathetic article, pathetic writing, pathetic video.

Slashdot needs a "top" 100 list for each calendar year for the "best" and the "worst" writeups. (Why not? every other freaking news org does it)

video without video (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46024401)

Link title ends with "on video" - No video in the link.

I'm not saying it's Aliens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46027373)

But it's Aliens.

Finally, an explanation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46027765)

Well, sort of, BUT STILL.

Now we finally have pretty damn good evidence for the cause of many thousands of UFO sightings around the world.
Watching the way it decayed, it pretty much explains most of the weird sightings as well as the oddly synchronized ones.
The ones that seem to pulsate are likely due to smaller dim balls in the red spectra, and it isn't until a larger one comes near or gains enough energy to spark up the other ones in succession. And if there are enough of them nearby, they'll all light up in a pattern that seems intelligent-like.

Still many other things in the skies to be explained, but this finally claimed so many of them, which is great.

What I wonder though is, there are at least 2 "known" forms of ball lightning, there is a plasma-like one that is actually hot and can burn things, but there is also some "cool" ball lightning that doesn't seem to have any heat to it at all, just all light.
I wonder what that could be. That one truly hurts the head to think about.

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