ball lightning


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ball lightning

[′bȯl ¦līt·niŋ]
(geophysics)
A relatively rare form of lightning, consisting of a reddish, luminous ball, of the order of 1 foot (30 centimeters) in diameter, which may move rapidly along solid objects or remain floating in midair. Also known as globe lightning.
References in periodicals archive ?
And scientists believe that ball lightning was merely a hallucination caused by magnetic fluctuations during storms.
One theory suggests that ball lightning is a highly ionised blob of plasma held together by magnetic fields, while an exotic explanation claims the cause is mini black holes created in the big bang.
In recent years, scientists have learned something about the science behind ball lightning.
Seventeen cows in Hungary dropped dead after ball lightning struck their barn.
Sometimes God moves loudly, as if spinning to another place like ball lightning.
Professor Smirnov's research interests focus on Plasma Physics and Technology, Cluster Physics, Fractal Systems and Nanostructures, and the Physics of Ball Lightning.
Topics include: ball lightning as an optical incoherent space spherical soliton, soliton fiber lasers, the soliton theory of bio-energy transport in protein molecules, solitons in systems with a cylindrical symmetry, and the Riccati equation in the study of solitons.
We don't claim to have a solution for the mystery of ball lightning," says study coauthor Alexander Kendl, a plasma physicist at the University of Innsbruck in Austria.
Fireworks, Chinese lanterns, the police helicopter, ball lightning and plain overactive imaginations have also been blamed to explain the widespread sightings of the lights in the sky.
Their origin is controversial as some people think that crop circles are formed by natural phenomena such as ball lightning and tornadoes.
Ball lightning is extremely rare and only reported twice a year in the UK.
Scientists may have solved one of nature's greatest riddles - the strange, baffling phenomenon known as ball lightning, it was disclosed yesterday.